April 13, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Deck the Halls Safely: Edison’s Tips on Avoiding Fires This Holiday Season

By Paul Netter

An iconic character once proclaimed, “It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree that matters, it’s who’s around it.”

Well said, Charlie Brown, but when it comes to families maintaining decorations safely during these holidays, what’s around the tree and on it matters even more.

It could be the difference between accident-free holidays and an electrical mishap or fire.

The U.S. average of about 200 home fires annually involving Christmas trees are proof of the hazards, and what’s around the tree is one of the biggest issues. One-fourth (26 percent) of Christmas tree fires are ignited by heat sources like space heaters, candles and fireplaces being too close to the tree.

G17-125 Holiday Decorating Safety Infographic-01
G17-125 Holiday Decorating Safety Infographic-03

Electrical failures or malfunctions — damaged light strands or, in a very tragic 2015 fire that claimed six lives, a corroded electrical outlet — also cause one- fourth of Christmas tree fires.

Even worse, Christmas tree fires are deadly, with fatalities five times more likely than in overall home fires.

What’s the best prevention?

“First, trees should always be kept at least three feet away from heat sources and burning candles should never be on or near them,” said Andrew S. Martinez, vice president of Safety, Security and Business Resiliency at Southern California Edison. “And because dried-out trees are a fire danger, live trees should be watered daily and artificial trees should be fire resistant. They should never be decorated with worn light strands or broken bulbs that could shock or spark a fire.”

Tree fires that cause an annual average of six deaths, 16 injuries and $14.8 million in property damage can also be avoided by following manufacturer’s instructions on the number of light strands to connect and only using lights and cords certified by safety organizations like Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

What’s more, LED lights should also be considered since they not only generate less heat, are safer and far more efficient, but also because they last up to 20 times longer than incandescent lights.

When decorating outdoors, power lines should always be respected.

“Lights or decorations should never be installed on power lines or utility poles, and decorators should keep themselves and their equipment, such as ladders and poles, at least 10 feet away from power lines,” said Martinez.

And those ladders should be wooden or fiberglass since metal ladders conduct electricity.

SCE offers some additional tips to keep families safe while maintaining holiday decorations:

  • Use flameless candles because of the fire hazard presented by burning candles — illustrated by New Year’s Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve being the top three candle fire days.
  • Use plastic zip cords when hanging lights instead of staples, tacks or nails.
  • Do not place electrical cords in a position that pinches them, like in a window.
  • Keep lights directly away from carpeting, drapes and other flammable materials.
  • Always unplug decorative lights when leaving home or going to bed.

“Electricity creates wonderful holiday displays,” said Martinez. “We want families to enjoy their decorations throughout the season by displaying them as safely as possible.”

Related Posts

Registration Now Open for Summer at New Roads

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

New Roads School is accepting registration for its summer program, a vibrant selection of classes and camps curated to meet...

CodeREV Inspires Kids to Code

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Budding coders, robotics engineers, game developers, animators and STEM campers are invited to join CodeREV this summer for a memorable...

YMCA Santa Monica: When School Is Out, Camp Is In

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

As the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District nears its end,  YMCA Santa Monica is setting up for its popular Summer...

Top 4 Party Boat Rentals in San Diego

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Here’s a rundown of the top 4 party boat rentals that will elevate any event to an unforgettable experience: Alana...

Accents Owner Steven Hanna Reflects on Decades Long Legacy

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

For 37 years, Accents Jewelry has transcended mere commerce, evolving into a vibrant community, a crucible of creativity, and a...

Discover the Untold Story of Folk-Rock Icon Judee Sill in “Lost Angel” Documentary

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Directors Share Insights into the Life and Legacy of the Enigmatic Musician By Dolores Quintana Have you ever heard of...

O.J. Simpson, Infamous Football Star Accused of Murder, Dies at 76

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Controversial Figure Succumbs to Cancer Shortly After Diagnosis Orenthal James Simpson, a former football player who is best known for...

Lyft Driver Faces Felony Sexual Assault Charges, Passenger Was Traveling Between Weho and Santa Monica

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

District Attorney Files Charges Following Allegations by Female Passenger On April 10, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced...

Los Angeles General Medical Center Seeks Public’s Help to Identify Patient Found in West LA

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

Hospital Appeals for Assistance in Reuniting Unknown Patient with Family The Los Angeles General Medical Center, a public hospital operated...

Get Jokerfied with The People’s Joker Director Vera Drew’s Interview; Film Opens on Friday

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

Vera Drew on Crafting a Trans Supervillain and Creating Comedy Chaos By Dolores Quintana The People’s Joker is an explosive...

(Video) The New Menu Experience at Cassia Restaurant in Santa Monica is Delicious

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

The Southeast Asian dishes satisfy. Friendly ambiance, flavorful food, subtle cocktails, beer and wine, and scrumptious desserts. @culvercitywlanews The New...

Woman Shares Apocalyptic Messages On Social Media Before Woodland Hills/Culver City Murder-Suicide

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

Social Media Posts Precede Tragic Events at Family’s Home and on the 405 Freeway Reports have surfaced that a 34-year-old...

SB 1509 Advances: Malibu Officials Rally Behind Negligent Operator Treatment Bill

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

Senator Stern’s Legislation Gains Momentum in Effort to Curb Reckless Driving SB 1509, the Negligent Operator Treatment bill spearheaded by...

Now Enrolling: St. Matthew’s Summer Enrichment Program

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

Discover the magic of St. Matthew’s Parish School through their Summer Enrichment Program, offering a timeless summer camp experience infused...

Rolling Robots Camp is a ‘Tech Genius Program’

April 9, 2024

April 9, 2024

Roll out the .. robots.  An afterschool learning center for robotics and STEM is hosting weekly camps this summer designed...