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How to prevent Christmas tree fires this holiday season

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 11:31 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Christmas trees are beautiful but you have to be careful. The Augusta Fire Department teamed up with the Joseph M. Still Burn Center to demonstrate what not to do and help you stay safe.

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

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

“Constantly motioning, constantly watering your live trees, checking your lights, recycle those trees as opposed to burning them. Make sure not to overload surge and electrical outlets,” said Antonio Burden, Augusta fire chief.

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

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

Along with fires come injuries.

“We see a little bit of an increase in incidents around the holiday season,” said Dr. Shawn Fagan, chief medical officer for Burn and Reconstruction Centers of America and the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta.

The kitchen while can be a wonderful place can be a dangerous place with hot fluids and flames and things.

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

“Definitely want to encourage our citizens to utilize surge protectors as opposed to electrical cords and extension cords,” said Fagan.

“Avoid overloading circuits that can lead to an electrical fire,” he said. “Huge burden on our families in terms of injuries and loss of life definitely want to encourage taking those extra steps.”

The Augusta Fire Department says during December, it gets about 11 electrical fire calls because of outlets. Remember to use surge protectors and also unplug any lights or trees after an extended period of time.

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