Watch for these holiday safety hazards

Posted: 8:30 AM, Dec 22, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-22 13:30:11Z

It's been a busy month for firefighters and the American Red Cross, with more calls for help during the winter.

"Cooking fires are still the number one reason why we have fires even during the holidays, so make sure you're always watching what you're cooking," said Michael Roberts with the Delta Fire Department.

Another thing to watch out for: your holiday decorations.

"Candles when left unattended become very, very dangerous," said Roberts. "They could easily fall into a trash can or any ordinary combustible, a couch, anything can ignite."

Including your Christmas tree. Once a tree catches fire, it came burn up in seconds.

"One out of nine Christmas tree fires resulted in a fatality compared to regular fires or general fires is only 1/75," said Roberts. "So there's an increased risk with your Christmas tree fire."

Space heaters are also a high risk. It's the second leading cause for fire deaths in the United States.

"Once the space heater starts and ignites something of an ordinary combustible, we see that homes are completely engulfed in less than four minutes," said Roberts.

That's one of the reasons the American Red Cross has been passing out free smoke detectors.

"Many people aren't aware that you have two minutes or less to escape a home if it is caught on fire," said Julio Montemayor with the American Red Cross.

He says it's important to check your alarms once a month.

"Have smoke alarms in those designated areas, so if you have a family of four and four bedrooms, you want to have a detector in each of those bedrooms," said Montemayor.

And it's always good to have an extinguisher ready, too.

Remember the acronym PASS.

Pull the pin, Aim toward the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep starting at the bottom up toward the flames.