Holiday Fire Prevention
ELMIRA---(WENY) This time of year, its all too common to hear tragic stories of homes going up in flames. Last year, a family of five in Horseheads lost everything just a week before Christmas, and last Friday, another home in the town of Chemung burned down, killing two dogs. That blaze was caused by an over loaded power strip.
It's a preventable problem that seems to increase with the use of holiday lights and home heating methods.
Elmira Fire Chief, Patrick Bermingham says people need to be smart about distributing power evenly from electronics and be careful not to overload individual circuits.
He also says, "It's important, if you have a natural tree that you keep it wet. Fill the Christmas tree stand. Keep it wet and don't expect to get a month and half out of it."
Also, with the holiday season also comes winter weather conditions that can make it difficult for fire crews to get the scene quickly.
Chief Bermingham wants people to take extra care in limiting their exposure to hazards, especially during snow storms, like deciding not to light candles and never attempt to heat your home using the oven. He also says to be careful if using a wood burning stove which can dry trees out even more, and never put live candles on your Christmas tree for decoration.