Holiday Decorations May Pose A Threat

Josh Navarro

Newswest 9

MIDLAND- Holiday decorations may dazzle your tree and house, but it could also be dangerous if your aren't careful. Midland Fire officials are warning you to be safe as you decorate for the holidays, they say during this time it could mean a greater risk for a fire.

It's the most wonderful time of the year, but in seconds that wonderful time could turn into something tragic.

"Holiday season, our fires increase that's because of the extra decorations come out in the home candles, are one of the major causes of fires this time of year," Midland Fire Marshall, Jeff Minor, said.

A video released from the Department of Commerce shows what may happen if your aren't careful enough. In the video, within 45 seconds a Christmas tree could go up flames and consume everything in its path.

"The Christmas tree fires that we've seen, they start underneath the tree in the presents and then from faulty extension cords or faulty Christmas lights," Minor said.

Minor said purchasing the freshest Christmas tree is key and to water it constantly and make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source. He also said to make sure those lights are LED lights because they give off less heat and not to overload an extension cord, something Dana Bradford keeps in mind.

"We have some going into the garage, the ones on the roof actually going over into the backyard so its not all just into one thing," Midland Resident, Dana Bradford, said.

Bradford and her daughter were decorating outside of their Midland home Saturday.

"It's really pretty, but I do think we have to need to pay attention to the safety factor too," Bradford said.

According the National Fire Protection Association, between 2005 and 2009 fire departments in the U.S. responded to an estimated 240 homes because of Christmas tree fires, and out of those fires there were 13 deaths and 27 injuries.

Fire officials also say if you have candles lit up, to blow them out before leaving a room or going to bed the same goes for all light strings and decorations, turn them off before leaving your house or going to bed.