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How to keep your home safe from Holiday disaster

Fires caused by seasonal decorations happen more often than you may think.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Editor's Note: Attached video is from a story in 2020.

While fire safety may not be at the top of your list while putting up the Holiday decorations, fires caused by seasonal décor happen more often than you may think.

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that fire departments in the U.S. respond to an average of 790 home fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees, from 2015-2019.

"These fires caused an annual average of one civilian fire death, 26 civilian fire injuries, and $13 million in direct property damage,” the association said.

The biggest issues first responders see are overloaded outlets, how long your holiday lights are on, and dehydrated trees.

“Before you go to bed unplug that tree, because a lot of times those older lights, which look great, put off an abundance of heat," Jordan Yuodis, a spokesperson for Jefferson County Fire said. 

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For those with real Christmas trees, Yuodis said it takes less than 20 seconds for a tree that hasn't been properly watered to fully ignite.

"In a matter of seconds, your entire living room is engulfed in flames just because your tree wasn't watered or, in some cases, you left your lights on all night," he said.

Yuodis also said it’s important to double check how many plugs you’ve put into your outlets.

“A lot of times this year we see people plugging in their Christmas tree into basically a power strip," he said. "While the tree is also plugged in, a phone charger may be plugged in, as well as a lamp, a heated blanket--anything you can think of.” 

Experts say a single surge protector with multiple plug-ins is fine. But multiple outlets stacked on top of each other runs the risk of overheating and catching on fire.

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