ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Trees and holiday lights are going up, fire places are turning on, and students will soon be on winter vacation.
During this holiday season the Albany Fire Department says there are a few tips to help keep your home safe.
Before putting up any lights Assistant Chief Burns with the Albany Fire Department says making sure you turn lights off every night is important.
However, there are precautions to take before the lights even go up. Chief Burns suggests plugging them in first to check for any electrical shortages.
"Make sure the lights are safe. Make sure they don't have any electrical shorts in them. Plug them up before you put them on the tree," Chief Burns explains.
He says you should also spray real trees with fire retardant before stringing any lights.
And with cold weather coming in, the Albany Fire Department says to take proper precaution when using fire places and space heaters as well.
Chief Burns recommends having fire places professionally cleaned before use. It's also important to make sure the hot embers are completely out before leaving the room after using a fireplace.
When it comes to using space heaters officials say to turn them off when you leave the room and unplug them when you leave the house.
Chief Burns says you want to make sure all holiday decorations are at least three feet away from the fire place and space heaters at all times.
Finally, with winter vacation coming up many students will be home alone throughout the week. Chief Burns says it's crucial to remember unattended cooking is the number one cause for residential fires.
He suggests talking with anyone who might be home alone about safety when cooking.
Chief Burns says there is one way to make sure your home stays safe from fires throughout this season and the year as well.
"The number one defense for any fire, whether it's with the tree or unattended cooking, is just a smoke detector. A working smoke detector. If we have a working smoke detector in every room in the house I think we'll be safe," explains Chief Burns.