News Release: Wrapping up the Holiday Season Safely

Contact Information:
Nathan Hunerwadel, Communications Specialist
Cell:  720-879-2462

Wrapping up the Holiday Season Safely

Centennial, Colo. –December 22, 2014 – “Each year, fire departments respond to an average of 210 structure fires” caused by holiday trees (NFPA).
The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM)  teamed up with the South Metro Fire Rescue Authority (SMFRA) to demonstrate the extreme fire hazard created when simple lighting and tree safety tips are not followed during the holiday season.
A link to the video from the demonstration is available here:

Throughout the week READYColorado will share additional holiday lighting and decoration safety tips at and through our social media sites on Twitter and  Facebook.

Keep holiday safety a tradition in your home. Wrap up the season with these safety tips:

  • Holiday decorations are meant for temporary use. 
    • Leaving your decorations up for extended periods leaves wires unnecessarily exposed to the elements, which can decrease the product’s shelf life and increase the risk of electrical hazards.
  • With time, trees continue to dry out making them increasingly flammable.
    • Trees decorated with holiday lights have an increased risk because they’re in direct contact with an electrical source. 
    • Check with your local community to find a recycling program through which to dispose of your tree early in the New Year.
  • Carefully remove decorations, inspect them and secure them safely
    • Always unplug decorations by using the gripping area.  Pulling on the cord could damage the wire and present a shock or fire hazard.
    • As you take down holiday lights, inspect the wiring and discard any that have cracked, frayed, or appear to have damaged wire insulation. 
    • Make sure to label or store indoor decorations separate from those intended for outdoor use.
    • Store electrical decorations in a dry area that is not accessible by children or pets.
Information in this release is provided via the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi) in accordance with their content use guidelines.  Please visit for additional information.