How to decorate your home safely this holiday season, tips from Myrtle Beach Fire Dept.

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 6:22 AM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Whether you’re dusting off those holiday decorations or looking for new ways to deck out your home this year, there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid a holiday disaster.

First, Captain Jon Evans with the Myrtle Beach Fire Department said you should never connect more than three strings of lights together.

Next, you should also replace any string of lights that have worn or broken cords.

Then, when it comes to your grand reveal, avoid overloading electrical outlets.

Plugging too many lights into one outlet can cause it to ever heat which could spark a fire.

However, Captain Jon Evans said the most important thing you need to keep an eye on is your candles.

“Blow them out before you go to bed and before you leave the house. Make sure they’re on a stable surface so that the dog, cat, or kids are not gonna knock them over. We still try to recommend the artificial candles, but every so often you want that pine-scented candle, which is fine, just do it safely,” said Evans.

Evans also said you should keep all decorations at least three feet away from an open flame or heaters.

For those who prefer to have a real Christmas tree in their home, there are a few things to keep in mind too.

Evans said while Christmas tree fires are not as common, if one does happen, it can cause serious damage, so here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe.

Christmas Tree Safety:

  • Choose a tree with green needles that do not fall off when you touch it
  • Make sure the base of your tree is stable when placing it
  • Place the tree at least three feet away from any heat source (fireplace, candles, space heaters)
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit
  • Water your tree daily so it does not get dried out

Evans said what you do with your tree after the holiday season is also important for your safety.

“At the end of the season, get it out of the home. Recycle it. Do whatever you want with it but get it out of the home because it just becomes a major fire hazard,” said Evans.

For those of you in Myrtle Beach, the city will pick up your Christmas trees right from your curb in January and recycle them into mulch.

If you do not want to wait or live outside of the city, you can take your tree after Christmas to any of the county’s recycling centers.

Make sure you remove the ornaments, lights and tinsel before recycling.