Holiday season

How to Prevent Christmas Tree Fires This Holiday Season

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Christmas trees are beautiful, but you have to be careful. The Augusta Fire Department has partnered with the Joseph M. Still Burn Center to show what not to do and help you stay safe.

They showed the risks electrical sparks have on wet, dry Christmas trees and how quickly each can catch fire.

Augusta firefighters say they get the most home fire calls on Thanksgiving. In second place is Christmas.

“Move constantly, constantly water your living trees, check your lights, recycle those trees instead of burning them. Be sure not to overload power surges and electrical outlets,” Augusta Fire Chief Antonio Burden said.

This next part seems obvious, but it’s something the fire chief says they have to tell people all the time.

“Every room you have someone you love in, make sure that room has a smoke detector. So every room. Have a detector in every room,” he said.

The fires are accompanied by injuries.

“We are seeing a slight increase in incidents during the holiday season,” said Dr. Shawn Fagan, chief medical officer of the Burn and Reconstruction Centers of America and the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta.

The kitchen can be a wonderful place, but can be a dangerous place with hot fluids, flames and all.

On average, there are 22 fire calls in December. 2019 had 31 calls. The main cause is overloaded sockets.

“I really want to encourage our citizens to use surge protectors instead of electrical cords and extension cords,” Fagan said.

“Avoid overloading circuits which can cause an electrical fire,” he said. “The enormous burden on our families in terms of injuries and loss of life certainly encourages taking these additional measures.”

The Augusta Fire Department says in December it gets about 11 electrical fire calls from outlets. Remember to use surge protectors and also unplug lights or trees after a long period of time.

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