Winterville Fire Marshal warns homeowners about common holiday hazards

WINTERVILLE,N.C. (WITN) -- Christmas day and Christmas Eve are two of the more common days when accidental fires occur.

"Make sure that they stay near their cooking, make sure that they keep a good close watch on their children so that there's no distractions that would cause them not to pay attention to the cooking type of efforts," says Winterville Fire Marshal Tony Smart.

One major distraction during the holiday season that could pose hazards is candles.

Smart says December is the peak month for home candle fires and encourages folks to follow a few simple rules.

"You need to make sure that it's on a good solid, wide base and really in all honesty we recommend folks use the battery operated candles verses the flame candles," he says.

Another important fire safety tip is to dispose of wrapping paper and Christmas trees appropriately.

Smart says, "You should never use the fire place to dispose of any of your wrapping paper, that type of thing."

According to Smart, there's been stories of folks disposing of their trees in fire places which he says could potentially set a home on fire.

"There are plenty of options when it comes to discarding your trees, when it comes to discarding your wrapping paper, when it comes to discarding your decorations in a manner that is safe and that's what we want people to do," Smart says.

He adds to make sure to blow out lit candles when leaving a room and to turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving your home or going to bed.