Tallahassee, FL - As Floridians begin to decorate their homes and businesses for the holidays, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Florida Forest Service offers five tips today to help Floridians reduce fire hazards.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, Americans will purchase nearly 35 million natural Christmas trees this season. Natural trees and greenery are renewable resources and when consumers purchase Florida-grown trees, they're supporting the local economy.
However, with dry conditions around the state, there is risk of fire, and trees, greenery and other holiday decorations can be fire hazards. Keep the following tips in mind when decorating trees or hanging lights.
1. Keep natural and artificial Christmas trees away from fireplaces, portable heaters and other heat sources.
2. Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant decorations on a tree.
3. Check the labels on lights to make sure they were tested at a facility, such as UL or ETL, and follow manufacturer's instructions for use.
4. Discard any lights with cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
5. Always turn off holiday lights and blow out candles when going to bed or leaving the house.
Visit the Florida Forest Service website for current fire conditions and more information on how to prevent fire around your home.
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.