Holiday Safety: Dangers, tips to decorating your home

Holiday Safety: Dangers, tips to decorating your home

(KFVS) - It's time to get into the holiday spirit, and for many that means lots and lots of lights and decorations.

But have you considered the dangers your Christmas decorations may pose?

As a fire investigator for Cape Girardeau Fire Department for the past 20 years, Ivan LaGrand has seen his fair share.of fires.

"No we don't want to go on a fire, no." Fire Inspector Ivan LaGrand said.

And LaGrand said Christmas lights are pretty, but can also be dangerous.

LaGrand offered some tips on avoiding some of the dangers.

Number one, evaluate your Christmas lights and make sure they're not wearing out.

"After several years start checking make sure there's no breaking in the coating there's no exposed wires the bulbs are all working nothing is lose any exposed wires can cause a chance for being shocked or cause a fire,"  LaGrand said.

LaGrand said it's important to know if you're outdoor lights are actually meant for the outdoors.

"If you're using indoor cord for the wrong purpose and the rain is on it then it's not protected then you could look at it feeding back at the house, throwing breakers maybe causing a fire,"  LaGrand said.

Getting the lights on your house can also be dangerous starting with the ladder.

"When you're using a ladder, you want start with a flat surface if you can. Don't go above the top step it's their for your safety not to just for the balance of it,"  LaGrand said.

Using a flat piece of wood to balance out a ladder can help in keeping it stable.

When it comes to your Christmas tree, LaGrand said having a three-foot clearance around your tree is important, especially if candles are nearby.

"Especially these trees when they get dried out they can burn very quickly and very fast it doesn't take a lot to get them going,"  LaGrand said.

And LaGrand said he's seen one too many fires dealing with heat.

"Everybody loves electric blanket but after a while they get frayed inside and more than once I've been to a house fire where you can look on a bed and you can see the perfect pattern of the metal strips inside have just burn on top of the mattress we caught it early,"  LaGrand said.

LaGrand said it's very important to water your Christmas tree and to make sure your outside lights have a U-l sticker on them.

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