Spokane Fire Chief offers fire safety tips for holiday decorations

SPOKANE, Wash.– Millions of houses are showing off their best holiday decorations. While magical, the decorations cause hundreds of fires every year.

The National Fire Protection Association says nearly 800 house fires are caused by holiday decorations.

Homeowner Scott Fallis knows a small misstep of using old lights could cause a fire.

“We pretty much change it every year they don’t last anyway these days,” Falls said. “Make sure a bunch of lights are burned out. It’s better just to get new stuff for your trees I think.”

Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer says keeping your house safe starts with checking your lights.

“We reuse after those, year after year…it’s good to make sure when you put those up examine all the wires both inside and outside to make sure there is no bare metal showing or bare copper that helps with just assurance,” Schaeffer said.

For people who are using real trees, Schaeffer says to make sure to keep them hydrated at all times.

“When you bring the tree home you want to make sure to eliminate any of the dry or already dead parts of that tree … clip it off or move it… trim it,” Schaeffer said.

He also recommends you unplug lights before you go to bed.

“If you are using LED, those don’t generate very much heat at all, so it’s less of a risk than it has been,” Schaeffer said. “In the past, if you remember the old condense bulbs, they generate a lot of heat that can dry out your heat quickly it can start a fire.”

Use hangers instead of staple guns when you are putting up holiday lights outside.

Schaeffer says to make sure your smoke alarm is properly working and put a portable space heater at least three feet away from decorations.

RELATED: Manito Park Holiday lights turn on for the season