Christmas decorations already? How decorating early could pose a fire risk

Christmas decorations already? How decorating early could pose a fire risk

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – With the holidays quickly approaching, many of our viewers shared their thoughts on the ever-debated question, "how soon is too soon to start decorating?"

Our Facebook poll received over 700 responses:

  • Almost 200 people said they’ve already decorated or like to decorate on November 1.
  • Over 500 people said they prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving.

With the anticipation of the holiday season, comes warnings from Horry County Fire Rescue.

"Be very careful if you're starting to put up live decorations. Live trees, live greenery in your house, that's when you start getting in to trouble this early in the season." Mark Nugent from Horry County Fire Rescue said, "you put them inside your house, you put them in front of a window…..but on a day like today,  that sun is coming through,  it's going to start drying it up immediately. You really have to be careful and make sure you put water in the bottom of the tree."

Nugent explained that most of the live trees that you buy from stores pre-cut were cut down weeks ago, which is why you need to be attentive and make sure your tree gets water every day.

Old lights also pose a significant threat because they usually get hotter, quicker. You don't need to buy new lights every year, but be sure to check them thoroughly.

"At lot of times you'll put them in a box or attic tucked away somewhere. The wires get dry rotted, they start getting old, it's time to toss them away. You really need to check them out really good before you put them up each year," Nugent said.

The National Fire Prevention Association says you should never use lights made for outdoor use indoor. They should all be clearly labeled on the boxes in stores.

And finally, while many people think power strips are unsafe, Nugent says you should be using them for your Christmas tree lights instead of hooking up one huge strand.

"Those power strips that have the breaker mechanism built into it, a two or three foot plug that plugs into the wall socket, plug everything into that one outlet there. It's designed for that. If something malfunctions and gets over heated, you'll trip the breaker in that power strip and it will give you a little extra protection."

To voice your opinion on when you prefer to deck the halls, check out our Facebook poll.

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