The holiday season brings an increased fire risk, warns the Upper St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department.
The top causes for fires during this time of year are candles and electric—caused by Christmas decorations, according to Jerry Kopach, the department's president.
"People need to pay attention to how they're decorating," Kopach said. "Use enclosed candles, no open flames."
As for lights, check each set for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connections. And do not overload the circuit with wiring. Use no more than three sets of lights per single extension.
Other holiday fire hazards include Christmas trees and wrapping paper.
Keep your Christmas tree away from any heat source such as a space heater or fireplace. Discard the tree as soon as the holidays are over, and even sooner if it starts to dry out.
As for all of those wrappings, do not burn the paper in the fireplace. Wrapping paper may ignite suddenly, and cause a flash fire.
Editor's Note: This article was origninally published in December 2011.
What other safety tips do you have for the holiday season? Tell us in the comments.