Holiday planning should include fire safety

POLK COUNTY — State fire marshal Jim Walker urges citizens to remember fire prevention and safety when decorating and entertaining during the holidays.

Oregon fire agencies reported 3,510 residential fires during the holiday period (Nov. 22 through Jan. 15) between 2012 and 2016. These fires resulted in 14 deaths, 194 injuries and more than $61.2 million in property loss.

Tips for decorating a Christmas tree include:

• Choose a fresh, healthy tree with a deep-green color and flexible needles.

• Cut off the bottom two inches of the trunk to create a fresh, raw cut for the tree to soak up water.

• Water daily.

• Place the tree at least three feet away from any heat source. Unplug tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

• Other holiday safety tips include inspecting holiday lights for frayed wires, bare spots or broken or cracked sockets; never burning wrapping paper in a fireplace or wood stove, and never leave burning candles unattended.

For a full list of safety tips, visit www.oregon.-gov/OSP/SFM/pages/com_ed_section.aspx.

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