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Christmas Fire Dangers

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Sonora, Ca — It is the time of the year when many homeowners across Sonora get in the Christmas spirit by decorating the exterior of their homes, and fire officials are urging residents to take proper safety precautions.

City of Sonora Fire Chief Mike Barrows was Wednesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.

“You have people who have a tendency to leave up their lights all year long and just plug them in during the winter,” says Barrows. “We´ve had structure fires resulting from that type of practice. The ultraviolet rays of the sun often deteriorate the coating on the wires.”

City code mandates that lights be taken down within 90 days of putting them up in order to reduce the risk of fire.

Barrows adds that it is also important to follow the manufacturer´s recommendations on lights and only plug a certain number of strands together when decorating the exterior of a home. By plugging all of your lights together, you increase the risk of overheating the strands, which could also lead to a fire.

Additionally, to prevent a Christmas catastrophe from occurring, be sure to keep the trunk of a real Christmas tree is in water and never let the water level go below the bottom of the trunk.

Barrows reminded listeners to place the tree away from all sources of heat and never to leave a lighted tree unattended or near a moving ceiling fan, which will quickly dry the tree.

Finally, be sure to remove the tree immediately after the holidays.

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.