ALTON, Ill. – With the Christmas holiday quickly approaching, state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton, is encouraging local residents to use safe fire practices to prevent possible tree or home fires.

“With the holiday season often comes decorations, Christmas trees, and the use of candles. While for many it is a fun family tradition to decorate their homes for the holidays, decorations can greatly increase your risk for a home fire,” said Bristow. “The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Fortunately, by being mindful of your fire safety, many fires are preventable.”

According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), more than half of the home decoration fires in December are caused by candles. USFA advises the following fire safety practices during the holiday season:
• Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable.
• Consider using flameless candles, which can look and smell like real candles. If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be knocked down easily.
• Read manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
• Inspect holiday lights each year before you put them up, and throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires.
• Water your Christmas tree every day. A dry tree is dangerous because it can catch fire easily.
• Make sure your Christmas tree is at least 3 feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents.
• Make sure your Christmas tree does not block exits.
• Get rid of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry.

“I want to wish my neighbors in the Riverbend region a safe and happy Christmas and holiday season,” continued Bristow. “I urge everyone to follow USFA’s fire safety guidelines to help keep yourself and your family safe throughout the holidays.”

For more information, please call Rep. Bristow’s constituent service office at 618-465-5900 or email

Rep Monica BristowRep Monica Bristow

111th District

Springfield Office:
263-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-5996
(217) 558-0493 FAX

District Office:
528 Henry St.
Alton, IL  62002
(618) 465-5900
(618) 465-5150 FAX