Avoid holiday fire hazards

The Milford Fire Department has sent a reminder to area media about the need to be careful with holiday decorations.

Although not common, Christmas tree fires do occur and are very likely to be serious. One in three Christmas tree fires occur due to electrical problems. People should check their lights for broken or frayed cords or loose bulb connections. Do not hook more than three strands of mini light sets together and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in style lights. If using L.E.D. lights follow manufactures instructions. All lights and decorations using power should have a label from a recognized testing laboratory.

When setting up a tree do not block exits, make sure not to place it to close to heat sources such as fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators or decorations with candles. It is recommended having a three foot buffer between these heating devices and the Christmas tree.

Cut two inches off the base of the tree and add water to the tree stand daily, this reduces the chance of the tree igniting rapidly. A good safety practice during the Christmas season is to unplug the tree before going to bed or when going out. As soon as the holiday is over the tree should be removed and disposed of. Most Christmas tree fires occur between Dec. 22 and Jan. 5.