JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi State Fire Academy (MSFA) reported that there have been 92 fire-related deaths so far in 2021. There were only 61 at the same time last year.

Keep you and your family safe during the holidays with these tips from MSFA:

  • Only use flame-retardant or non-combustible holiday decorations.
  • Carefully check new and used string lights and replace any damaged bulbs before plugging them in.
  • Do not overload extension cords.
  • Keep children and pets away from string lights and electrical decorations.
  • Turn off all string lights and decorations before leaving your home or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Make sure any lit candles are placed away from tree branches.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Cut at least two inches off the bottom of the tree trunk before placing it in a stand.
  • Live trees can soak up one gallon of water each day. Check the water at least twice a day.
  • Make sure the tree is at least six feet away from any heat source.
  • Take the tree down when it becomes dry.
  • Recycle the tree, use it as fish shelter in a farm pond or throw it away with the trash.
  • Do not burn the tree in a fireplace. Heat may explode the wood and set the room on fire.

Check out these facts from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Almost one-third of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
  • Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes more than one in every five of the fires.