Here are some tips to keep in mind this holiday season to protect you and your family:
- Use holiday decorations made with flame-retardant or non-combustible materials.
- Carefully inspect new and previously used light strings and replace damaged items before plugging lights in.
- Do not overload extension cords.
- Keep children and pets away from light strings and electrical decorations.
- Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree, and make sure any lit candles in the room are placed away from tree branches.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Try to keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water daily.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source.
- When entertaining provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.
- Take the tree down when it becomes dry. Recycle it, use it as a fish shelter in a farm pond or put it out with the trash.
- Do not burn a tree in the fireplace. Heat may explode the wood and set the room on fire.
- Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States.
- Have an approved fire extinguisher handy.
- Remove pans from the stove when not in use.
- Turn handles in so pots cannot be easily pulled off the stove.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stove-top.
*These tips come from the Mississippi State Fire Marshall along with the Mississippi Insurance Department*