Christmas tree and light safety - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Christmas tree and light safety

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According to the U.S. Fire Administration - More than 150 fires are started every year from Christmas trees or holiday lights.

"If you're going to be using your lighting that you've had for several years in your home, the first thing to do is pull them out and inspect them."

The first thing you should do is check that the cables are all solid and there's no bare wires.

"If you're using older incandescent lights, you're also going to have to be careful about how many lights you put on a particular outlet."

With incandescent lights you can only put two or three strings together.

New technology brings us Light Emitting Diode or L.E.D lights, and with these you can connect more than 70 strings together.

"These lights are fantastic, they give you a great color, they use Milliamps of power."

As far as Christmas tree safety - When the bristles start falling off, that's a sign your tree is too dry and could be a fire hazard.

"While it's important to think about tree and light safety, it's also important to think about your general home safety. Things like having a ladder or fire extinguisher could save you and your family."

"A lot of it's caused by electricity, like electrical fires from bad wiring, or use of extension cords or overloading the outlet."

To avoid overloading, make sure you have a general idea of what your general power consumption is.

The light's packaging will say the power they need and you should make sure you buy your lights from a trusted source.

"You'll see that the authentic ones have a holographic background on them and if they don't have that, chances are it's a counterfeit."

Steele says you should check if the sticker has a red or green colored logo. A red color means indoor and outdoor, while green is strictly indoor.

If a fire starts in your home the first step is to call 911.

"Of course you want to get out of your house as soon as you can, that's the most important thing, is that you're out of your house and safe."

The holidays are a great time to relax and enjoy your Christmas lights and decorations, but you want to make sure doing it in a safe environment.

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