Holiday season brings new fire risks

13News Now Reporter Jaclyn Lee spoke with a fire official on what homeowners should know about precautions to take with their holiday lights.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- While holiday lights and decorations are pretty, they can also be deadly – according to fire officials around Hampton Roads.

The months during the holidays are the busiest for the Virginia Beach Fire Department, according to spokesperson Art Kohn.

“Most anyone who ever had a devastating fire will tell you they never thought it could happen to them,” said Kohn.

The Virginia Beach Fire Department has tips for homeowners to stay safe this holiday season. First, it starts with Christmas lights.

“All of the cords for your exterior lights are in working order you don't have cuts or nicks in them so you don't cause a short,” said Kohn.

Kohn also warned that candles, while beautiful, can be very dangerous.

“Not only do you want to make sure you don’t leave it unattended, you want to make sure you extinguish candles before you go to sleep,” said Kohn.

Cooking is one of the major causes of fires in Virginia Beach and around the country, according to Kohn, and said that homeowners should never leave a stove unattended.

However, as temperatures drop and those space heaters warm up, that’s when officials say you have to plug them directly into a wall outlet.

“Space heaters draw a lot of currents,” explained Kohn. “Most consumer extension cords cannot stand that current. They can’t carry that current, [it] causes the electrical circuitry to overheat, causes the wiring to overheat and next thing you know you have a fire.”

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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