If you're not careful, festive decorations can turn into holiday - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

If you're not careful, festive decorations can turn into holiday hazards

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All seasons are busy seasons for the Rockford Fire Department. On average, there's a fire every 30 hours in the area. What changes every few months is what's causing the flames. According to the National Fire Protection Association, one-quarter of home decoration fires happen in December. Experts say this holiday, there are ways to stay accident-free.

Last December, there were 45 fires in Rockford alone. The cooler weather brings us inside where those holiday lights and trees might be potential fire hazards.

"If you have a tree that starts to decay or starts to become dry, that's just like having firewood standing up in a more vulnerable position to cause a fire to spread." -says Rockford Fire Department Inspector Tim Morris.

There's one fool-proof tip for natural trees, keep them hydrated. Without water everyday, a situation can turn dangerous, even deadly, in just a matter of seconds. Artificial trees come with their own risks as well.

"You still have the light bulbs. Light bulbs are electrically powered, they're still an ignition source." -says Morris.

Morris recommends all lights, indoor and outdoor, go out whenever you leave the house or fall asleep. The same goes for open flames.

"It's important to make sure that the fire is completely out before you go to bed. If you have to discard the logs before they've had a chance to cool off completely, place them in a metal container and place those outside, don't place them next to your house." -he says.

Morris also stresses to test your smoke detectors at least once a month, and change the batteries twice a year.

Fireproofing your tree can actually start from the ground up, there's a recipe for keeping your natural tree even more secure. In your tree stand, mix together four tablespoons of green garden micronized iron, two cups of light corn syrup, four tablespoons of chlorine bleach, and a gallon of hot water.

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