Simple Reminders Can Prevent Fires This Holiday Season

Safety tips from Sandy Springs Fire Rescue


The holiday season brings additional risks of fire. Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Scarbrough shared the safety tips.

  • Inspect your Christmas tree.  A dry Christmas tree can become flammable, so keep them well watered. "If they have the tree close to a fireplace or furnace vent, that will take the moisture out of the tree." The tree becomes brittle and ripe for a fire. Check the needles on your tree by bending them.  If needles snap and break in two, the tree is dried out. They should only bend. "You shouldn't be able to pull a needle off a tree, if it's in good shape."
  • Go back and check the instructions on your Christmas lights. "A lot of times people will plug four or five sets of lights together, and that creates a problem.  Too many lights plugged in and you [can have] an instant fire that will spread really fast." Additionally, too many lights on a dry tree is hazardous. 
  • Don't run extension cords under your carpet. And don't run them through walls or a doorway where the door closes back and forth.  All of this can bend the wiring and create a short. "A lot of it is just wear and tear on the cords and decorations that people keep using over the years, and they just get frayed over time."
  • Don't throw Christmas paper wrapping into the fireplace.  "There are metals and things in the wrapping paper and it breaks up in pieces and sometimes it goes up the chimney and it can go out and land on the roof or fall into the woods."


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