ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — According to a press release by Red Cross Northwest Arkansas, December is the peak month for home candle fires. To help prevent any danger, Red Cross offers some holiday fire-safety tips.

Here are some holiday decorating safety tips:

  • Check all holiday light cords to ensure they aren’t frayed or broken. Don’t string too many strands of
    lights together — no more than three per extension cord. Turn off all holiday lights when going to bed or
    leaving the house.
  • Ensure outside decorations are for outdoor use and fasten lights securely to your home or trees. If using hooks or nails outside, make sure they are insulated to avoid an electrocution or fire hazard.
  • Look for the fire-resistant label when buying an artificial tree. Keep it away from fireplaces, radiators
    and other sources of heat. Never use electric lights on metallic trees.
  • If getting a live tree, make sure it’s fresh and keep it watered. Bend the needles up and down to
    make sure no needles fall off.
  • Don’t light the fireplace if hanging stockings on the mantel.
  • Check the labels of older decorations. Some older tinsel is lead-based. If using angel hair, wear gloves
    to avoid irritation. Avoid breathing in artificial snow.
  • Have good, stable placement when using a ladder and wear shoes that allow for good traction

According to the release, the risk of candle fires is so common that nearly one-third of Americans have left the room or fallen asleep while burning a candle.

The release also said Red Cross volunteers in the NWA region responded to 1,200 home fires, providing assistance to more than 4,000 people.

“It’s critical to take action now to be as safe as possible as the threat of home fires increases with the holidays and cooler weather,” said Chris Harmon, Regional Disaster Officer for the Missouri-Arkansas Region.

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