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Holiday fire warning

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Posted: Nov 23, 2010 11:33 AM by Trey Schmaltz
Updated: Nov 23, 2010 11:33 AM
Source: State Fire Marshal, WBRZ

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Topics: Christmas decorations, holiday warning, fire, trees, lights

BATON ROUGE- The State Fire Marshal is reminding people to keep safety in mind as holiday decorations go up.

For many people, the season means an increased use of electric lights, decorations, candles, and a Christmas tree.

"All can be potential fire hazards" said State Fire Marshal Browning.

Artificial trees should be labeled as flame-retardant. Lights should be "approved" and tested by a national testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

Laws require commercial building decorations meet safety requirements.

Faulty wiring and overloaded electrical outlets are one of the most common causes of seasonal house fires.

"It doesn’t matter if the tree is artificial or real, if a fire sparks due to your wiring, the tree will still burn," said Browning.

When buying a tree, make sure that the needles don’t fall out when you bounce it on the ground. These types of trees tend to dry out very quickly, meaning they will also burn quickly.

Be sure to keep your live tree watered so it does not dry out.

Do not light your tree with candles or lights designed specifically for outdoor use.

Keep all holiday decorations away from open flames, fireplaces or other heating sources.

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