Sioux Falls Fire Rescue provides tips in avoiding fire hazards during the holidays

Published: Dec. 12, 2021 at 10:10 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - According to the National Fire Prevention Association, U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 160 fires started by Christmas trees a year.

While there is a shortage of Christmas trees this year, it’s important to take the time to find the right one.

“You don’t want anything dry, if you touch the tree and the needles are already falling off it’s probably good to stay away from that tree,” said Brandon Fey, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Fire Inspector.

When you do find that perfect tree, the first thing you should do is cut two inches off the bottom, which will allow the tree to start soaking up more water.

“The things we put on the tree, we want to make sure they’re non-flammable,” said Fey.

This time of the year, people let their guard down and don’t think about where they place their tree and what’s around it.

“Especially with those fresh Christmas trees it does not take very much at all to get those going up, especially if they’re a little bit dried out, you can have a room go up in a flash,” said Fey

However, Christmas trees aren’t the only fire hazard during the holidays.

“If you have a candle, you want to keep combustibles at least 12 inches away from that candle,” said Fey. “You never want to leave your room with that candle lit, you want to blow it out every single time. The same thing with the Christmas tree, we don’t want to leave those lights on overnight or when you leave.”

Kitchen fires also pose a threat.

“The main cause for fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking, whether you’re baking a turkey or whatever you’re doing, be focused on what you’re doing,” said Fey.

In the instance you would have a fire in your home, having properly working smoke alarms is a must.

“They need to be in every single bedroom of your house, outside of your bedrooms in your hallway, and at least one on every floor,” said Fey. “Having that initial detection of that smoke is going to be super important, especially on the holidays when we have more people in our house.”

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue recommends getting rid of your tree soon after the holidays to get the potential fire hazard out of your house. They suggest looking around your area to see what drop-off locations are available.

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