(WSYR-TV) — Despite the currently warm temperatures, the winter season brings snow, cold, and according to the Fireman’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), house fires. 

The holiday season helps spark fires during the holiday months thanks to winter storms, heating systems, holiday decorations and candles, FASNY says. 

“The holiday season is a very special time of the year,” said FASNY President John P. Farrell. “Unfortunately, we see more fires happen during the holidays. Watering your Christmas tree, checking your smoke alarms, being mindful of candles and following cooking safety are all simple and easy actions everyone can take.” 

As we approach the what FASNY calls the busy season for home fires, they say New York State is currently fifth in the nation in home fire deaths with 106 this year. 

“We hope that everyone has a great holiday and a happy New Year— if anything does go wrong, rest assured that volunteers across the state will be here to respond,” said President Farrell. 

Holiday decorating tips from FASNY and the National Fire Protection Association: 

  • Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant. 
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn. 
  • Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both. 
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. 
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged. 
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors. 

Fire Safety Tips for Your Christmas Tree: 

  • Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and do not break easily from its branches. The tree should not be shedding its needles readily. 
  • Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out. 
  • Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety and throw out any damaged lights. 
  • Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle. 
  • Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and décor. 
  • Do not forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.