GREENSBORO, N.C. - It's fun to decorate for the holidays, but it could also be dangerous.
During the holiday season, residential fires are more frequent, more costly, and more deadly than at any other time of the year.
Although Christmas tree fires are uncommon in the Triad, it's still extremely dangerous.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), on average, one of every 32 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death.
It takes less than 30 seconds for a dry Christmas tree to go up in flames and burn a home.
The NFPA says one of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems and a heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four Christmas tree fires.
Unattended cooking is the top source for home holiday fires and injuries.
On average, U.S. fire departments respond to 165,000 home structure fires that involve cooking equipment per year.
Holiday candles are another fire problem.
The NFPA says candles start two out of five home decoration structure fires.
Here are some quick holiday fire safety tips to help keep you and your family safe:
- Be alert and focused when cooking.
- Never leave the kitchen when you're cooking.
- Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.
- Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
- When putting up Christmas lights, read the manufacturer's instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
- Make sure your Christmas tree is at least 3 ft away from heat sources, like fireplaces, space heaters, or radiators.
- Get rid of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry.
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