Holiday time can be a fire time

11:18 PM, Dec 2, 2012   |    comments
The Grand Rapids Art Museum's 2012 Christmas tree.
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- It's a tradition around the holidays to decorate our homes with things like Christmas trees and holiday lights. But a fire can ruin a family's holiday in literally less than a minute.

The US Fire Administration found holiday fires kill more than 400 people a year, injure 1,600 and cause about $990,000,000 in damage.

Grand Rapids Battalion Chief Dan Stoddard says people should follow these key holiday safety tips:

1.) Keep your tree watered. A dry tree catches on fire in your home much easier than one that is moist. Also only keep a fresh cut tree about two weeks before it becomes too dry and dangerous.

2.) Don't burn your tree or old wrapping paper when the season is over. Your fire place isn't built to handle a fire that will burn that hot from the kindling.

3.) Don't dispose of your ashes in the garage. Instead put them in the back yard in a metal trash can with nothing else inside.

4.) Don't overload your outlets. It's a sure bet way to start a fire.

5.) Don't leave candles unattended.

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