Six ways you can prevent house fires during the holidays

Half of all home heating fires occur in December, January and February

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – It’s the most wonderful time of the year but your Christmas could go up in flames if you don’t keep safety top of mind.

Bedford County Fire Marshal, Leo George III, said that around the holidays, their crews tend to be busier.

“We always say this is our busy season, unfortunately … the holiday season and the wintertime,” George said.

There are several things you can do in order to make sure a fire doesn’t break out. Some of them include:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from any heat source,
  • Keep portable generators outside, away from windows, and as far from the home as possible,
  • Plug only one heat-producing appliance into an electrical outlet at a time.

This Christmas happens to fall under a weekend when many people across the Commonwealth and the nation are going to be in freezing temperatures.

“Everybody wants to overheat their house and get ahead of the cold. They put an extra log on the fire or turn the heat up a couple of extra degrees and that can be put on our systems,” George said.

The holidays alone bring extra concerns when it comes to house fires. Holiday-specific tips include:

  • Watering the Christmas tree – a dry Christmas tree can burn very hot and very fast,
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect,
  • Limit the use of extension cords.

“Part of the key is to make sure we’re using these properly. Turning them off, giving them break periods, making sure that we’re using extension cords that are rated for what we’re using them for,” George said.

Bedford County Fire and Rescue hopes the number of calls they get around Christmas are limited.

“The last thing we as fire and rescue want to see is having a fire at a residence right around Christmas time,” George said.

For more tips regarding fire safety around the holidays, visit the U.S. Fire Administration’s website.

About the Author

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.

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