Joe Allen of Ada Fire Department said the practice of winter fire safety could very well save lives.

Allen said there are many precautions individuals can take to prevent calamity during the Christmas and New Year season.

Any real Christmas trees still standing during the holidays should be watered so as to prevent them from drying out.

“Most people don’t but there are a few traditionalists who still have the old-style trees and usually when they have the real trees they’ll have the old-style bulbs which get a lot hotter,” Allen said.

He said residents should also follow directions when lighting their houses.

“The biggest mistake most people make is not following recommendations when they buy Christmas lights, hang them up around their house or even on their trees,” he said.  “Don’t plug too many into one series.”

If residents should lose power, Allen said they should keep any generators or propane tanks outside in a ventilated area.

“You don’t ever want to run a generator inside of a house,” he said.  If generators are used in improperly ventilated areas, Allen said carbon monoxide poisoning can occur.

Allen said portable electric heaters are a big concern when preparing for fire safety in winter.

“People may put their pets in their garage, put a portable heater with them and not think to keep it away from anything flammable,” he said.  He said although portable heaters manufactured now have an automatic shut-off if the heater is tipped over, accidents can happen.  Allen said portable heaters tend to be the biggest cause of fires during the winter.

He said residents should also keep objects that can start fires, such as candles and lamps, out of the reach of children.

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