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Warning: Christmas trees, lights can lead to tragedy

December 8, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Firefighters issued a safety warning on Thursday, letting Southern California residents know that dried-out Christmas trees and faulty lighting can lead to tragedy over the holidays.

Members of the Los Angeles city and county fire departments performed safety demonstrations to show the dangers Christmas trees can pose.

"It's such a wonderful time of year, but it's important that everyone does the things necessary to maintain their family in a safe manner," said Chief Brian Cummings of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Fire officials offered these safety tips:

  • Make sure you don't leave candles or anything burning unattended.
  • Turn off Christmas lights when leaving the house.
  • Check smoke detector batteries.
  • Make sure the carbon monoxide detector is installed.
  • Get rid of your Christmas tree the moment it gets dry.

Capt. Jaime Moore of the Los Angeles Fire Department said fires around the holidays are often sparked by candles or begin in the kitchen.

Cummings also urged parents to watch children, especially around the stove.

Environmental health and safety director Bill Messner urged residents to "take 10" to make check for safety hazards during the holidays.

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