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Major fire hazards arrive as holidays do

By Ariana Garza, Weekend Anchor/Crime & Courts Reporter, agarza@ktxs.com
Published On: Nov 29 2012 06:58:34 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 29 2012 08:25:49 AM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

Christmas decorations are fun to set up and enjoy, but they can also be major fire hazards if you are not careful.

According to the Abilene Fire Department, you need to use the right kind of power strips and extension cords for your trees and holiday lights.

"Don't use interior extension cords outside. You don't want to expose those to the elements because they can short out, they can cause a fire," firefighter J Sanders said.

Sanders said homeowners should keep their Christmas trees well-watered and far from candles and power outlets.

Lowe's Electrical Pro Randy Wuest said you need to keep all electrical equipment away from any moisture.

"Especially in the mornings when it's dewy because you could find out that it could give you an electric shock because of the moisture," Wuest said.

He also recommended unplugging electrical equipment before you take down any holiday decorations to minimize the risk of electric shock.

If you plan to light a fire in your fireplace to stay warm and celebrate the holidays, make sure your flue is open and gas cannot escape into your home.

Also, be mindful of where you place your space heaters.

"Keep space heaters away from combustibles," Sander said. "I've seen cases in the past where people will put them next to their beds at night. It's very easy that you might kick the covers off your bed at night, it lands on the space heater and you know that's just a recipe for disaster."

While its important to take the necessary steps to prevent a house fire over the holidays, you also need to make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are operational in case of a fire.