Holiday Fire Hazard Tips

Photo by Kimberly Bosco

TOMS RIVER – The holidays are defined by the beautiful decorations that we use to spruce up our homes for the season. It is always important to remember, however, that these decorations can become fire hazards if not carefully tended to. The Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention urges everyone to practice fire safety when picking out a tree and decorating their homes this year.

“According to the U.S. Fire Administration, one of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. The best way to prevent a Christmas tree fire is to water it every day and place it away from heat sources such as a fireplace, woodstove, radiator or space heater,” said Bob Yaiser, public education officer for the Bureau of Fire Prevention.

Real Christmas trees can become hazardous if not tended to properly. The Bureau reminds everyone that trees with fresh, green needles are preferred to avoid fire hazards. Before setting your tree up in the stand, make sure to cut of 2 inches from the base of the tree trunk. It is very important that you place your tree at a distance from any heat source and water it daily, to avoid starting a fire. And never forget to turn off those pretty Christmas tree lights when leaving the house or going to sleep!

It is important to always read the instructions on your lighting decorations carefully. This will tell you if your lights have the label of a recognized testing lab, and whether they are meant for indoor or outdoor use. These factors are important to consider. Don’t forget to replace any old lights with worn cords, frayed wires, or loose bulbs to avoid a fire hazard! And always maintain a safe distance between your candles and other decorations in the home. Same as with the tree, never forget to turn those lights off before leaving or going to sleep.

For more information, call the Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention at 732-240-5153 or visit online at