Christmas lights cause 770 house fires every year, National Fire Protection Association reports

The one thing firefighters say you could be doing wrong that could start a fire.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The holidays are a time for us to decorate the inside and outside of our homes, but it also means putting more fire hazards near the people and place we treasure most. The National Fire Protection Association reports more than 770 home fires are caused by holiday decorations every year. Here’s what you can do to mitigate the risk:

Holiday lights

  • Verify if lights are for indoor or outdoor use. They’re either one or the either and never both.
  • Buy flame-resistant lights
  • Never use nails to hang lights; use clips.
  • Turn lights off when you leave the room or go to sleep

Christmas tree

  • Real trees need to be hydrated. Start with a fresh-looking tree.
  • Place in a stand with a large water reservoir
  • Throw the tree away soon after the holidays

Check for heat sources

  • Never place lights, trees, or decorations near a fireplace or heater
  • Blow out candles before leaving a room
  • Don’t put anything on top of the extension cords. They can overheat and spark.
  • Blow out candles before leaving a room

Anthony Roseberry is a Clay County Fire Rescue Marshal He said the most important tip is to make sure you read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all of your decorations. That and to keep your pets away from them.

“We love our pets, but we definitely want to keep them in mind when we have holiday decorations involved, we don’t want them getting in trouble with them, chewing on them, knocking them over, we just want to keep a watchful eye on our pets when it comes to holiday decorations,” Roseberry said.