Jackson Fire Department demonstrates Christmas fire hazards

JACKSON, Tenn. — According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires per year that started with Christmas trees.

The Jackson Fire Department showed West Tennesseans firsthand how some Christmas tree decorations can cause a fire.

“Children may come home expecting to see their gifts and may come home to a house fire,” said Jackson Fire Department firefighter and public educator Latrell Billingsley.

Two minutes is the amount of time you have to escape a house fire, according to Billingsley.

Billingsley says this holiday season West Tennesseans should take extra precautions with their Christmas tree decorations.

“To make sure you’re using proper lighting for your Christmas trees. It’s a live tree. Water it daily and dispose of it after use,” Billingsley said.

Firefighters demonstrated what could happen if someone uses a candle next to a live tree.

“So we don’t want to use lit candles or outdoor lights that could be used outdoors instead of indoors,” Billingsley said.

Billingsley says Christmas tree fires can also occur from placing them too close to a heat source.

“So people usually have things too close to their trees, so we want to make sure you have an area of good safety around it,” Billingsley said.

He also says this demonstration is a way to prevent your Christmas from being ruined.

“Yeah, it’s Christmas time, so for anybody that suffers or have to endure a house fire around this time of year, it’s a tragedy because, you know, it’s the holidays,” Billingsley said.

Billingsley says if you need a smoke alarm, you can call the Jackson Fire Department at 731-425-8347.

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