The holidays are a time for decorating, with twinkling lights, glittering garland, flickering candles and boughs of holly. Unfortunately, many of the materials used for traditional holiday decorating can present a fire hazard if not handled properly. For this reason, McKinney fire officials have offered tips on holiday decorating to keep you and your family safe throughout the holiday season.

Use Care with Candles

McKinney fire official say that two of every five holiday decoration fires begin with lit candles. Place lit candles where small children and pets cannot accidentally topple them and be sure to keep the flame from fresh greenery, paper or other flammable decoration. Be sure to blow out all candles when you leave the room for an extended period and especially when you go to bed.

Holiday Light Safety

Check all light strands to be sure they are rated for both indoor and outdoor use. Today, most strings are rated for both, but an older strand may not be, so it is important to read the labels before hanging the lights. Turn off all lights before going to bed or leaving the house, especially those on the Christmas tree. If possible, install inexpensive timers that will turn the lights on and off for you at a given time each day.

Christmas Tree Safety

Because many people now use artificial trees for their holiday decorating, Christmas tree fires are not as common as they were in the past. However, even artificial trees can burn and officials say that when a fire occurs in a tree, it is usually more serious than other types of fires. Be sure that all lights on your tree, whether artificial or real, are operating properly. Never place a Christmas tree close to a heat source, such as fireplace or heating vent. If you do have a live tree, water the tree daily to keep it moist throughout the season. Never let a real tree run out of water as you risk the trunk sealing so that the tree can no longer absorb moisture, causing it to dry more quickly and become a fire hazard. Never place lit candles on a Christmas tree, even if it is artificial. Be sure that all decorations, including the tree, are not blocking exits from rooms or the home itself.

AAA Air wants you and your family to have a safe and happy holiday season. These tips from McKinney fire officials are designed to help you keep your home safe while still enjoying the sparkling decorations you enjoy each year. We look forward to helping you and your family stay warm when the weather is cold and cool when the weather turns hot by keeping your HVAC system running properly. Contact us online or by telephone today to arrange a review of your heating and air conditioning system. We can recommend adjustments that will make your system run more economically and replace any faulty components that could be affecting the efficiency of your system.

McKinney Courier Gazette