SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – As the holiday season quickly approaches, state Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, is encouraging local residents to use fire safety practices to prevent possible fires.
“While for many it is a beloved family tradition to decorate their homes for the holidays, decorations can greatly increase the risk for a home fire,” said Mussman. “Popular decorations include trees and candles, so it is important to be mindful and take precautions to help prevent tree or home fires.”
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.
- If you have a real Christmas tree, water it 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.
“The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day,” continued Mussman. “I urge everyone to follow USFA’s fire safety guidelines to help keep yourself and your family safe throughout the holidays.”