House fires increase during the Christmas season - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

House fires increase during the Christmas season

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Our electrical outlets get a workout during the holidays between Christmas lights and all of that extra cooking.

The National Fire Protection Association says Christmas tree fires cost Americans nearly $19 million in property damage each year.

One-third of those fires are caused because of electrical problems and in just a four-year time-span there were six deaths and 22 injuries from Christmas tree fires.

This year, be sure to leave your local fire fighters off the holiday invite list.

Lieutenant Eric Miller says holiday fire safety starts in the kitchen.

With all of that cooking going on, it is easy to be distracted and forget about the appliances on your counter.

"If you're not using them it's always good to unplug them because they are drawing power even if they are shut off," said Miller.

Even your dazzling decorations could be a threat.

Make sure your Christmas lights are not out of date and use power strips sparingly.

Miller says most of the holiday fires his team responds to happen because we plug too many things into one surge protector.

If you have that inevitable outage during the holidays, make sure your appliances are shut off before you reset a breaker.

Follow this safety advice and make sure to have a working smoke detector with fresh batteries.

"When the time changes, you change your batteries on the smoke detector," said Miller.

To be prepared for the worst, fire fighters suggest coming up with an escape plan and acting it out as a family, as if there were a real fire.

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