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Holiday decorating safety tips

Winter holiday fires claim more than 500 lives each year and cause approximately $554 million in property damage, according to the American Red Cross.

Fire safety sometimes seems obvious — it’s common sense to keep a live tree away from the open flames of a fireplace, for example — but other times, fire safety can depend on small things you may not often consider.

Follow these essential holiday decorating safety tips to avoid fire damage this season.

Home fire safety tips

  • Never burn wrapping paper, garbage or other debris in your fireplace.
  • Check your space heater before using it.
  • Test every smoke detector in the house and make sure all have charged batteries.

Christmas tree fire safety

  • We know to keep a live tree fresh and watered — but do you think about its placement? In addition to keeping the tree away from fireplaces and stoves, never put the tree in a spot that blocks doorways or fire exit routes.
  • Only decorate a Christmas tree with non-combustible or flame-resistant decorations.
  • Never use more than three sets of light strands per one extension cord.

Outdoor decoration fire safety

  • Be sure extension cords are labeled for outdoor use.
  • Ask yourself if the decorations will stay fastened securely — even in Kansas’ blustery wind.
  • Plug outdoor lights into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet or use a surge protector.

Fore more information about seasonal fire prevention, or for assistance with smoke and fire damage restoration, please call ServiceMaster Clean in a Wink directly at 316-219-9696 or toll free at 888-GET-WINK.