Holiday decorations can be fire hazards

Trees and lights could lead to fires

SOUTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – It could be a while before Christmas decorations come down, and after a candle in a Christmas display started a fire in Southampton Sunday night, the fire department is cautioning you to be careful.

As the holiday season comes to a close, Southampton Fire Chief John Workman urges residents to shut off their lights at night, and while they go out.

However, some local residents told 22News they forget that shutting off the lights is safer. “The potential is still there, it’s still electricity running through there. If you have a short, you’ve got a spark, and you’ve got a fire,” said Ted Butterfield of Southampton.

Butterfield said the quality of today’s Christmas lights makes him feel safer leaving them, but Chief Workman said after a few years of use, your lights could fail.

“I’m worried about a fire. Always worried about something burning, something shorting out. You never know what’s going to happen,” said Jim Rofulowitz of Southampton. “I’m very paranoid, I make sure the lights are off, I got my outside lights on timers so they go off automatically every night.”

Chief Workman also warns that once your tree dries out, it becomes an extreme fire hazard. Keeping your tree near a heat source or forgetting to water it can dry it out faster. Once the needles start to fall off, Workman said it’s a sign your tree is too dry, and it’s time to throw it out.

The fire department recommends shutting off your lights when you leave or go to bed, and keep decorations far from candles or fireplaces.