Don’t let safety take a holiday this Christmas

The McKinney Fire Department (MFD) recommends residents protect themselves when they deck the halls this holiday season. Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together, but also means a greater risk for fire. Incorporating a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.

Holiday decorating:

  • Be careful with holiday decorations by choosing decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Fresh greenery decorations should be misted with water daily and a Christmas tree base should be submerged in water at all times.
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and objects that can burn.
  • Check the package of lights. Some lights are only prescribed for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string of lights that have worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended number of light strands to connect so you don’t overpower a circuit.
  • Use clips, not nails or staples, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

Holiday entertaining:

  • Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
  • Ask anyone who would like to smoke to smoke outside and remind them to keep smoking materials from young children.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.

“Nearly half of decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source,” said Fire Marshal Mike Smith.

By taking simple steps, your chances of preventing a home fire improves greatly. For additional information, visit or