Fire officials warn of holiday hazards

HARRISURG, Pa. -- Decking the halls can cause a lot of problems if you're not careful.  Fire commissioners demonstrated Wednesday how quickly a dry Christmas tree can go up in flames.  Experts say it's important to keep your tree watered to prevent it from drying out and they encourage the use of flame resistant decorations.  Fire officials also say homeowners should ensure electric circuits aren't being overloaded by holiday decorations this time of the year.

And the fire dangers span far beyond the twinkling lights.  Fire officials, including Pennsylvania Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay, warn cooking appliances and lit candles should never be left unattended.

"If you're going to use a candle, keep it up out of the way so your pets can't get to it and knock it down, and the kids can't get to it.  And by all means, make sure you turn everything off at night before you go to bed.  Don't leave the lights on, make sure those things are all taken care of."

Solobay suggests using artificial candles to create the same effect, while reducing the fire risk and increasing peace of mind.