Keeping Your Home Fire Safe this Holiday Season

- HAGERSTOWN, Md.- The holiday season is here and many people around the four state area are getting their Christmas trees and starting up wood fire places. As much as they can be apart of our holiday tradition, they could also be a potential fire hazard.

'Tis the season for Christmas trees, holiday spirit and fire safety.

"Every step when it comes to fire safety is forward thinking. You want to be proactive and that means insuring that everything is working properly," said Deputy Bruce Bouch with the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office.

First, officials say check all the wiring on Christmas lights, decorations and extension cords. 

"So many of us will use mom and dad's and grandma and grandpa's stuff from years ago because of the nastgia and you like that look," said Bouch. "But protectively you have to make sure that it's safe so they often become dry rotted over the years to the point where the installation will just fall away from the wiring."

Then the Christmas tree. It's a major staple for the holidays but it could be a potential fire hazard.

"The key thing with live Christmas trees in the home is to ensure that you check the water every day," said Bouch. "Make sure you keep the water filled up to it's level so it ensures that it has continuous draw of that moisture. A properly watered tree doesn't burn.

Live Christmas trees only last for about two to three weeks so officials suggest using the New Years holiday as time to depose of those old trees before they get too dry.

And plug alternative forms of heating like space heaters directly into the wall outlet.

"Also when they are in use. Three feet around them, not too close to a bed, not too close to the drapery anything else that can burn," said Bouch.

And make sure your smoke detectors are working.

Fire officials also suggest going through your fire escape plan with family and friends when they visit your home, just in case of an emergency.

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