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Peoria Fire-Medical offers holiday decorating safety tips


PEORIA – As local residents start decorating their homes for the holidays, Peoria Fire-Medical is offering safety tips to help avoid accidents. Taking some simple safety precautions now can prevent a tragedy from happening later.

If your holiday display includes a tree, either real or artificial, it is important to take steps to prevent a fire. If you are using an artificial tree, make sure it is fire resistant and keep it away from fireplaces, radiators, and other heat sources. If you are using a real tree, check the tree for freshness. A fresh tree will be green with needles that are hard to pull from the branch. Needles from fresh trees will bend and not break. Like all decorations, keep away from heat sources.

If you are decorating your home with outdoor lights, check each strand, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Discard any damaged lights. Follow the manufacturer’s guidance on how many strands can be plugged end to end. Use only outdoor extension cords, and do not overload electrical sockets. 

Other holiday decorations can present a hazard as well. Small decorations or decorations with small parts can be a choking hazard for children. Avoid tree trimmings or other decorations that look like food. Keep glass and breakable items out of reach of children.

Finally, candles cause a number of house fires each year, especially during the holidays. Consider electric candles or candle warmers. If you are going to use a flame candle, keep it at least three feet from anything flammable and use a jar type candle whenever possible.