How to prevent your holiday cheer from going up in flames

MEDFORD, Ore. — With colder temperatures rolling in, people are breaking out space heaters, firing up the furnace and admiring the lights on the tree. But a single spark could cause your holiday cheer to go up in flames.

Firefighters are warning people to pull the plug on electrical fires by following some key safety tips.

“We’ve seen a few flue fires already this season,” Deputy Fire Marshal Steve Parks, Medford Fire-Rescue, said.

Winter sees it’s fair share of house fires that firefighters say, could be easily avoided.

“This time of year, holiday decorations account for about a third of the fires nationally,” Parks said.

A common culprit of house fires during the holidays are neglected Christmas trees.

“Keep them well-watered and make sure that the Christmas lights and ornaments and stuff like that you’re putting on these trees are safe. If it’s the lights, you don’t have burned out bulbs or damage to the wiring,” Parks said.

Heat-related devices, like fireplaces and space heaters, can also start fires this time of year. Medford Fire-Rescue says fireplaces should be inspected and cleaned regularly. Space heaters should be at least three feet away from anything else in the room.

“They need to be plugged into a wall outlet. They’re not intended to be used with a power strip or extension cord, that kind of thing cause overload and cause a fire potentially,” Parks said.

They also recommend using a power strip with a built-in circuit breaker, rather than an extension cord.

“It’s easy to overload it and they can overheat,” Parks said.

Whether you decide to use a candle or light up the tree this holiday season, never leave them aglow unattended.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Skip to content