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When you deck the halls this holiday season, the Park Forest Fire Department reminds residents to take precautions to protect their families and keep fire safety at the forefront.
Deputy Fire Chief Mark Cotrano said residents can take simple steps to prevent a disaster.
"According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPSA), half of all Christmas tree fires are caused by an electrical problem or a heat source too close to the tree," Cotrano said. "Residents should be mindful to check surge protectors and be sure not to overload them."
Cotrano noted it is vital to keep space heaters and other heating devices far away from the tree, as they are easily combustible. He added that you can prevent these accidents by taking proper safety measures when purchasing, setting up, decorating, and disposing of (or storing) your tree.
"When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label 'fire-retardant,'' Cotrano said. "Although this label does not mean the tree will not catch fire, it indicates that it will resist burning and extinguish quickly."
Cotrano continued, "When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. Check if the needles are green and hard to pull from the branches. Also, see if the needles bend between your fingers without breaking."
Below are more tips on ways to be proactive and keep your home safe during the holiday season.
Christmas Tree Safety: