Fire truck sirens aren't exactly the kind of jingle bells anyone wants to hear. But the reality is, holiday decorations are responsible for nearly 400 house fires in the U.S. each year. Houghton firefighter, Buck Foltz, says the number one cause of holiday fires is candles. "A lot of us have the desire to have nice candles and the smells at Christmas time,?? said Foltz. ??You never put lit candles on trees or anything else. And I guess this is a time of year when we really need to think about the little ones. We need to really watch where we put those candles; they have to be high. Never leave one lit at night or when you're not in that room." For those who have a real tree for Christmas, it's important to make sure it's watered everyday. A dry tree can burst into flames much quicker than a well-watered one. Foltz says there are other ways to prevent fires in your home as well: -Don't burn wrapping paper in a fireplace-Keep your tree away from any heat source-Don't overload electrical outlets-If it seems questionable, don't do it Foltz also recommends everyone have a fire extinguisher in their home. A first aid kit and burn creme should be handy in your home for minor burns. "You can use the cool cloth to help with discomfort, but you don't want to put ice on any burn,?? said Katie Brewster, nurse at Portage Health Hospital. ??That skin is compromised, so because there is decreased sensation, you can cause more injury by putting something like ice on that burn." For more serious burns, Brewster says a visit to the doctor is advised.
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