Holiday Safety Information from Paducah Fire Department

Date of release:  November 29, 2018

The Paducah Fire Department wants to share the following reminders about Christmas trees, lighting, and entertaining so that you and your family remain safe this holiday season.

Christmas Trees  Christmas trees make houses beautiful and festive; however, care needs to be taken especially with live trees.  A natural Christmas tree contains more fuel than a gallon of gasoline.  Keeping it well watered will prevent it from drying out and becoming more flammable.

This video created by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and shared by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) shows that a live Christmas tree that has not been properly watered will burn faster than newspaper and destroy a home in a matter of seconds.   

Christmas tree fires can turn devastating and deadly within seconds

Lighting   Regarding lighting, never use live candles on your Christmas tree or place them near decorations.  Deputy Fire Chief of Prevention Greg Cherry says, “More than one-third of holiday decoration fires are started by candles.  Please keep decorations well away from candles or any other heat source.  Also, remember to blow out candles before going to bed or leaving the house.”

If you are planning to use a string of lights, inspect them before hanging.  If the cords are damaged, pinched, or frayed, or if any of the bulbs are loose, replace the entire strand.  Cherry adds, “Never try to repair or splice cords on decorations or strands of lights.  Go ahead and purchase a new cord or strand of lights to be safe.  Also, to prevent damage to the cords, use clips instead of nails to hang your lights.” 

Make sure that strands of lights or cords used outside are rated for outdoor use. 

Entertaining   Entertaining is popular at holiday time.  Before guests arrive, check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are operational.  Cherry says, “A good idea is to look at your house from a different perspective.  You are familiar with your house, but your guests may not be.  Make sure they know all of the exits and your family’s escape plan.  Plus, secure cords for holiday lighting and decorations to prevent guests from tripping and falling.”

Lock up any matches, lighters, or other flammable materials so that visiting children can’t access them.  If guests will be smoking, provide a place for them to extinguish their cigarettes. 

For more information about holiday fire safety including national statistics, visit