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Most home fires occur during the holiday season. Here’s how to prevent them.

‘Tis the season for decking the halls and rooms with holiday décor galore.

Most home fires occur during the holiday season. Let’s change that.

It’s also the season of home decoration fires.

According to the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshall, most home candle fires occur Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve, candles cause more than half of all home decoration fires in December and candles cause more than a third of all home decoration fires.

The other decoration fires are caused by decorations being too close to a heat source (two of every five).

To raise awareness, the Plainfield Fire Protection District is participating “Keep the Wreath Red,” a holiday safety program. Here’s how it works.

All four fire stations in the district have holiday wreaths with red lights. If a decoration causes a holiday fire, a white light will replace a red one.

The goal is to prevent fires related to holiday decorations. In addition to replacing traditional candles with flameless ones, the district’s news release also said people should:

• Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anyitem that can burn.

• Put candles in sturdy candle holders that won’t tip.

• Always blow out candles before leaving a room or going to bed.

• Never leave a child or a pet alone in a room with a burning candle.

• Never light a candle if oxygen is used in the home.

• Make sure holiday lights and other electric powered decorations are listed by a qualified testing laboratory for safety.

• Never use any light strings with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.

• Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the maximum number of light strings to connect so electrical outlets are not overloaded.

• Only use outdoor rated decorations and extension cords outdoors.

• Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so cords don’t get damaged.

• Turn off decorations before leaving home or going to bed.

• Only buy freshly cut Christmas trees where the needles do not fall off when touched.

• Cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk before placing the tree in the stand.

• Keep Christmas trees more than 3 feet away from heat sources

• Make sure the Christmas tree is not blocking an exit.

• Add water to the tree stand each day to keep the Christmas tree fresh. A dry Christmas tree is a fire hazard.

• Remove the Christmas tree from the home as soon as it starts drying out.

• Place the dry tree outside and away from the home, garage or other structures while waiting for disposal.

For information, call 815-436-5335 or visit PlainfieldFPD.com.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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