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Fire officials say house fires are more frequent during the holiday season. Here are some of the most common causes of residential blazes this time of year, and some tips on how to stay safe while you celebrate.

Christmas Trees

If your Christmas tree is dry and brittle, it becomes more likely to ignite. Water your tree regularly to keep it moist, or choose an artificial tree that is flame-retardant. In any case, keep your tree away from heat sources, and ensure that your tree stand is sturdy and secure.

Lights & Decorations

When selecting your holiday decorations, choose items that are flame-retardant. If your string lights are not brand-new, always test them for shortages before using. Toss any lights that have frayed or cracked wires or broken socks. If you are using extension cords to power your décor, make sure they are in good condition and UL-rated for indoor or outdoor use.


Many people incorporate candles with their holiday celebrations. Keep lit candles about a foot away from anything that can burn, and never leave them unattended – especially around pets or children. Otherwise, consider flameless LED candles.


Soot can harden on the walls of your chimney and become flammable. To avoid possible fire damage in Houston, TX, have your chimney inspected to see if it needs cleaning. Use a protective screen while using your fireplace, and only burn seasoned wood.

close up of a christmas tree

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