Chippewa Falls Fire Department warns of holiday hazards

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- If your stockings are hung by the chimney with care and your candles are brightly beaming you could be in danger of starting a fire!

The National Fire Protection Association says while Christmas tree fires aren't common they are more likely to be serious.

On average the organization says one out of every 32 Christmas tree fires reported at home resulted in a death versus an average of one death per 143 home fires.

Both real and fake trees can be a fire hazard this season so the Chippewa Falls Fire Department says it's a good idea to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they're working.

The department also says while you may like to fight the cold by using a space heater it's important to not use extension cords and keep blankets and other flammable materials away from the radiant heat.

If you'd rather cozy up to a roaring fire Lt. Jim Spaeth says it is a good idea to check the chimney before use.

“They need to have a certified chimney cleaner to make sure their chimney is clear, the cresol that builds up over fires and also birds like to build nests and stuff like that in chimneys, so chimneys need to be cleaned,” said Spaeth.

Also the National Fire Protection Association says that candles start two out of five home decoration fires so decorators should be sure to keep watch until the flame is put out.

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