Hazards posed by holiday decorations

December 9, 2012

It takes just seconds for those beautiful lights, candles and other decorations to go from delightful to disastrous.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says the number of incidents during the holiday season, including fires, has increased by 2,000.

Christmas tree fires cost consumers as much as $19 million in property damage.

This year, there is a longer stretch of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That means consumers should be even more cautious with live trees.

"Consumers are buying them earlier and earlier and that can cause problems. Often times people are having such a good time during the holidays that they forget to water the tree which can lead to a terrible fire," said Inez Tenenbaum, Consumer Product Safety Commision.

The CPSC advises you keep the tree stand filled with water and place it a safe distance from heat sources like vents, radiators and fireplaces.

Also, lights with broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires or loose connections should be fixed or replaced.

Candles should be kept on stable surfaces where children and pets cannot knock them over and should never be left unattended.

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