Public Protection Cabinet
Take Precautions with Holiday Lighting

Press Release Date:  Monday, December 01, 2008  
Contact Information:  Jim Carroll, 502-564-5525  

     For many Kentuckians, the holiday season is an opportunity to decorate the home in a warm, inviting atmosphere. Taking basic precautions with decorations will help ensure that a fire won’t ruin your holiday, says Kentucky State Fire Marshal William Swope.


    Lighted candles evoke memories of holiday celebrations of the past. When properly used, candles are safe, but residents should be cautious.


    “Never leave a lighted candle unattended,” Swope advised. “Before you go to sleep, always extinguish a lighted candle. And never leave the home with candles burning.”


     Christmas trees are, of course, another decorating fixture at this time of year. Christmas trees cause about 200 house fires a year around the country, Swope noted.

     The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers these safety tips:

  • Never use lighted candles on a tree.
  • Unplug tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Keep the tree at least 3 feet away from a heat source, like a fireplace.
  • Keep little children and pets away from wiring and lights.
  • Use lights that carry the label of an independent testing laboratory.
  • Keep a fresh tree well-watered throughout the season. Dispose of the fresh tree after four weeks.
  • When using an artificial tree, make sure it is listed as flame-retardant.

More information and tips are available at Videos that show how quickly a dry tree can ignite are available here:


     The State Fire Marshal’s Office is part of the Public Protection Cabinet.