Fire crews give holiday safety tips

Fire crews give holiday safety tips

YAKIMA, Wash.- Decorating your home with Christmas lights, candles and ornaments are just some of the holiday traditions that are done during this time of year, but it can also lead to a devastating situation.

The Yakima Fire Department responds to several Christmas tree related fires.

"Roughly about 15 to 20 percent of our calls during the holiday season has something to do with holiday lighting or Christmas trees when we respond to them," said Jeff Pfaff, Yakima Fire Department Captain.

Pfaff says one of the main things people forget when getting a Christmas tree is watering it.

"When you break it down to these small little pine needles, it doesn't take anything at all for this tree to ignite, and go into a big burning Christmas tree in a matter of seconds," said Pfaff.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that nearly 200 U.S. home fires start from a Christmas tree every year, and almost half of those fires happen in December.

"We just want make sure that if we do put a fresh cut on the tree, that the person puts the tree in water as soon as possible," said Bryan Johnson, Owner of Roots Nursery and Landscape.

Johnson says that watering your Christmas tree is one of the first things he tells his customers.

"These trees are really meant to be outside and when we bring an outside tree inside, it's going to dry out a lot quicker," said Johnson.

Pfaff says other things to keep in mind are your outlets.

"Things that will cause great risk in your home is having a space heater plugged into the same outlet that you would have Christmas lights," said Pfaff.

Fire crews also urge the public to make sure your smoke decors work in case a fire does happen.

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