Tips to prevent a house fire during the holidays - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Tips to prevent a house fire during the holidays

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MERCER COUNTY, WV (WVVA) -

On average, Christmas trees cause nearly 200 fires a year... while lights and decorations account for another 800 home fires during the holiday season.

House fires can be devastating at any time, but they seem all the more tragic during the holidays. Captain Richard Hodge of the Bluefield Fire Department says you shouldn't leave your holiday lights turned on 24/7. "Keeping them on too long, you know, tends to overheat the cords."
If you have a living Christmas tree, Hodge says... keep it moist! "Making sure that you keep watering those live Christmas trees. Because they do get brittle, and they're very easy to catch on fire."
When placing presents under the tree, Hodge reminds you to pay close attention to their location. "Make sure your Christmas packages are away from your Christmas decoration cords. Don't overload your electrical outlets with too many plugs for your Christmas lights."
This Christmas tree behind me has some low-hanging ornaments and tinsel. But they're not allowing any four-legged friends nearby... and there's good reason for that. Lisa Williams with the Mercer County Animal Shelter says keeping your pets safe during the holidays is as easy as remembering one simple rule... "Really what you can do is treat your pet just like a child... a small child. You're going to hand decorations up (higher), you know that they can't reach them. And that's what you want to do." 
And if you've got any felines roaming around, Williams encourages you to beware... of 'that darn cat'! "It's got a lot of shiny things on it. You've got tinsel on it. You've got bulbs on it. Cats like to play with things like that. They'll climb your trees, sometimes get the needles off of it, and eat the needles."

Captain Hodge says if you are in need of a fire alarm, you can pick one up for free at the Bluefield Fire Department.
 

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