KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The National Fire Protection Association says about 790 house fires are caused by holiday decorations every year. That is why the Knoxville Fire Department wants you to take extra precautions this holiday season.
For decorating the inside of your home, here are some things KFD wants you to keep in mind:
1. Practice candle safety. Don't leave candles lit up if you are heading out of your house or going to bed.
2. Be mindful of what you put close to heaters. Mark Wilbanks, Knoxville's assistant fire chief, said it could be dangerous to have cloth, cartons or bedding near your heaters.
3. If you have a natural Christmas tree, make sure you are treating it properly.
"We want to make sure that we keep them watered, that the temperature in the home is not too hot to dry them out too quickly," Wilbanks said. "We want to make sure that we use lights that are rated for natural trees, things like that, we do not want to burn candles near the trees or anything like that."
When it comes to decorating the outside of your house, KFD says you should follow these tips:
1. Consider using LED lights. Wilbanks says they use less power and do not get as hot as regular lights, so you would be practicing safety while also saving some money.
2. If you are using an extension chord, you should not exceed three to five strands of lights on that single extension chord.
3. Make sure the Christmas lights you are using are safe for the outdoors.
"If you use an indoor light on the outside and it gets wet or damp from rain, snow, whatever we may have during December, those lights can short out and they can cause a fire, so they are very dangerous," Wilbanks said. "Or they potentially could short out and then you go to check them and you could become shocked or electrocuted by them."
Wilbanks also wants to remind you to practice ladder safety. He mentioned you should make sure there is someone holding the ladder down below to prevent you from falling.