Panama City Beach Fire Department shares holiday decorating safety tips


PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)–While the holiday season is a fun time to go all out and decorate your homes, it’s important to do so safely. With hanging up decorations and Christmas lights comes an increase in house fires. But luckily, they can be avoided.

While putting up a real tree may seem exciting, it does pose an extra risk. Fire professionals encourage you to water it daily.​

“In the event that you have an unwatered tree, the potency of that dry tree is much much higher and it will accelerate a fire at a much higher rate,” said Brandon Polkowski, Lieutenant Paramedic for the Panama City Beach Fire Department.

When putting up your tree, always make sure it’s at least three feet from heat sources.​

Lieutenant Polkowski also urges residents to check their decorations before hanging them up, looking for frayed wires and worn and broken string lights.​

“These decorations sit in the attic or shed for 11 months out of the year, they need to be inspected before you actually go to use them,” Polkowski said.​

The fire department also recommends opting for LED lights when decorating your home.​

“The halogens can build up heat a little bit more so we recommend that you get the LED instead and if you do have halogen it’s probably not a good idea to leave them unattended,” Polkowski said.​

As always, make sure your smoke alarms are working properly. It’s also important to keep your trees away from pets and small children. And when you leave your house, always make sure to shut off your holiday displays. Keep your family and home safe.

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