City of Seattle, WA

12/01/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/30/2020 20:04

Holiday Decorations: Stay Light and Bright on Holiday Nights

This year, as we all look for ways to brighten up the long, dark nights and bring joy to the holiday season, newer technologies make the task safer as well as a little easier.

Check out these tips so you can safely decorate your home and reduce the risk of fire hazards so prevalent at this time of year.

Outdoor Lights
LED lights have revolutionized the holiday decoration industry, and options abound on color, pattern, and other features. While LED lights do generate some heat, most do not produce infrared radiation, allowing more energy to be used toward producing light, thus reducing fire risk.

With LED lights, save energy and gain peace of mind knowing your outdoor house lights won't cause a repeat of Clark Griswold's experience in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Limiting the number of light strands to three or no more than recommended by manufacturer's instructions is always a safe bet. Or forego stringing up lights altogether and set up an LED laser display that can be both waterproof and remote-controlled from the warmth and safety of your home.

Holiday Tree Lights
Whether you choose an artificial or live tree, LED lights are also your safest bet. The real danger with live trees isn't necessarily the type of lights, it's in not keeping the tree sufficiently hydrated for weeks after it's in your home. Be sure to water daily and make it is placed well away from fireplaces and other heat sources. Watch this video to see the dramatic fire difference between a dry tree vs. a high moisture. While tree fires are rare, when they happen, they are dangerous. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, a quarter of all winter fires stem from indoor trees placed too close to a heat source, with one out of every 52 tree fires resulting in death.

Candle with Care
More than 1/3 of all home decoration fires are started by burning candles. In the month of December, more than half of all home decoration fires are due to burning candles. Go flameless this year to totally eliminate the hazard of candles getting left unattended, or worse yet, starting a major fire in your home. Many battery-operated styles are available, with features such as remote start and timers.

While the pandemic has brought a year of unprecedented disruption the our daily lives, with a little forethought, this can still be a holiday season to safely remember, cherish and enjoy those who mean so much to us.

The Seattle Fire Department wishes you a very safe and happy holiday season!

For more information on holiday safety, go to: https://www.nfpa.org/winterholidaysafety