Reminder: Water your Christmas trees to prevent fire

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 2:53 PM EST
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LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - As we count down the days until Christmas morning, firefighters are gearing up for potential tragedies.

It’s the season of gift-giving and joy but unfortunately, the holidays can quickly turn into a nightmare if you’re not careful.

Leland Fire Chief Chris Langlois says his crews often respond to devastating fires on holidays. The causes range from decorating errors, dry Christmas trees and cooking accidents but they all have one thing in common: they can be easily avoided.

Chief Langlois says you should be mindful of the kinds of lights you use to decorate your tree. Lights meant for indoor decor won’t put off heat like outdoor decorations well. It’s also important to be mindful of where you place your tree. If a fire does happen despite your precautions, taking care of your tree can be the difference between life and death.

“When it gets dry, it gets brittle and it ignites very easily,” says Chief Langlois. “Once it ignites, it burns very fast. That reduces the amount of time that we have to, number one, show up and get there, get our firefighters into operation, get into the home and get water on the fire.”

Chief Langlois says it’s a good idea to check your smoke detectors and make sure you have several throughout your home including outside of your bedrooms. You should also be mindful when cooking and remember to turn off things like the stove or oven if you have to leave the kitchen.

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