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How to prevent a house fire this holiday season

(WBNG) — Local fire officials are warning people about the dangers of the holiday season.

“The last thing we want to see is for something to happen where somebody, god forbid they get hurt or somebody gets killed,” said Johnson City Fire Lieutenant Bob Blakeslee. “But even losing your stuff, your home, having your holidays ruined because of something like that.”

He says if you plan on getting into the holiday spirit and want to make your home shine bright, be careful.

“Make sure you’re coming off an outlet,” explained Blakeslee. “Don’t use one of those, the power strips, even though they’re more convenient, a lot of times it’s just a couple of thin strips of metal on the inside of them. We’ve seen a good number of fires in recent years that have been caused because of those.”

Christmas trees are another potential danger.

“If you’re using a natural tree make sure that it is kept well watered and moist, if the leaves, or the needles start to drop off, you need to get rid of it,” said City of Binghamton Assistant Fire Marshal Timothy O’Neill. “They are very flammable once they dry out.”

O’Neill says candles can cause a problem, too.

“Just make sure there’s no flammables around them,” added O’Neill. “Don’t stick them in the middle of a natural decoration and just forget about them.”

Another thing to keep in mind is making sure Santa Claus can deliver his presents.

“If you do use a fireplace, make sure your chimney is kept clean,” said O’Neill.

Fire officials also note it’s good to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.

Esperanza Gutierrez

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