Barrow Fire Dept. offers holiday safety tips

WINDER -- Thanksgiving just passed, but it's never too early to start thinking about safety for the rest of the holiday season.

The Barrow County fire department recently issued tips for the public to stay safe during the holidays, whether they're cooking, decorating or finding that perfect tree.

"All of us at Barrow County Emergency Services want to remind our friends and neighbors that being prepared and practicing safety can make this a holiday season full of great memories," spokesman Lt. Scott Dakin said.

-- Check holiday lights for frayed wires and other damage. Never link more than three light strands together.

-- Make sure all decorations are non-flammable.

-- When choosing a live Christmas tree, pick one with green needles that don't fall off when you bounce the tree trunk on the ground.

-- Keep your tree away from heat sources and water frequently.

-- Consider using battery-operated, flameless candles.

-- Don't burn wrapping paper in the fireplace; it can spark a large blaze that could start a chimney fire.

-- Never leave a fireplace burning when you go to sleep.

-- Have a "kid-free zone" at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot foods or drinks are being prepared and carried.

-- Plug cooking appliances directly into electrical outlets. Cooking appliances can overload extension cords and cause a fire.