KCFD and PG&E release tips to keep families safe from fires this holiday season

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Kern County Fire Department and PG&E have released a list of safety tips to keep families safe this holiday season.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking causes almost 20 percent of home decoration fires if, for example, decorations are too close to cooking areas.

Christmas trees are also a fire hazard. The National Fire Protection Association says that house fires with trees result in death four times more often than home fires without a Christmas tree. Lights are involved in 40 percent of tree fires.

PG&E and the Kern County Fire Department share the following safety tips:

Cooking Safety

· Start with a clean oven to reduce the risk of a grease fire.

· Clear the range of anything flammable including dish towels, pot holders, and recipe cards.

Electrical Safety

· Avoid overloading extension cords and wall sockets by following the manufacturer's limits for the number of light strings that can be safely connected together.

· Check all light strands for cracked or broken plugs, frayed insulation or bare wires. Worn cords can cause fires, so discard damaged sets of lights.

· Don't place cords under rugs, furniture or other appliances. If covered, cords can overheat or become frayed, increasing the risk of fire.

· Always turn off decorative lights—indoors and outdoors—when leaving the house and before going to bed.

· Do not place your holiday tree near a heat source such as a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, making it more susceptible to fires caused by heat, flame or sparks.

Save Energy

· Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lights consume 75percent less energy than traditional incandescent lights, helping customers save money on their energy costs during the holiday season.

· LED lights produce almost no heat, making them safe to touch and greatly reducing the risk of fire.

· LED lights are also break resistant and shock resistant.

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