Holiday decorating reminders, advice from experts

News

As the temperatures go down, the risk for fires go up.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there have already been more home fire deaths in Michigan this year than in 2017.

Local fire officials say they expect that number to increase.

It’s that time of year again when homeowners across the country hang their stockings by the fire and bring a twinkling glow to their homes.

However all that decorating can lead to some dangerous fire hazards.

“As a firefighter, when we talk with people who’ve had a home fire the number one comment that they make is that they didn’t think it was going to happen to them,” says Olivet Firefighter, Lt. Michael McLeieer.

Lt. McLeieer says according to the U.S. Fire Administration more people have died so far this year in home fires than in 2017.

Why, he’s stressing safety.

“If we are putting lighting outside be very careful,” says Lt. McLeieer.

He says when stringing lights, stay away from using staple guns or nails to attach lights to the roof.

“It’d be safer to use items that won’t damage the wiring and make sure that we don’t compromise that electrical wiring which could cause a fire,” says Lt. McLeieer.

He says don’t overload outlets and check lights often to make sure they’re not warm to the touch.

In addition, when picking out that perfect Christmas tree.

He says look for one that’s freshly cut.

Place it away from heaters, doors, or furnace registers inside.

“They can go up within a matter of seconds.and they can block an exit so we always want to make sure those Christmas trees and holiday decorations never block our ways out in case we have to quickly escape our home,” says Lt. McLeieer.

All in all, it is the season of giving. 

Lt. McLeieer says there’s no better present than the gift of safety.

“If you have bedrooms upstairs. It’s important to have that home fire escape ladder so everybody can quickly and safely get outside. Most importantly, always sleep with your bedroom door closed so we stop that smoke and fire from getting in giving everyone more time to be able to get out and stay out,” says Lt. McLeieer.

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