How to prevent fires during the holidays

- It's that time of year again when you bust out the Christmas lights, possibly start lighting candles and even when you start fires, if the weather is right. However, it's also a time the Houston Fire Department responds to more accidents.

"There's over a million residents living in apartment homes here in Houston now and last year in December there were over 70 apartment fires", says Starla Turnbo who is the vice president for the Houston Apartment Association.

Thursday afternoon doctors with Shriners Hospitals for Children, the Houston Fire Department and the Apartment Association held a demonstration to show ways to prevent this from happening.

Advice from the pros:

- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything flammable

- Make sure candles have a base that is large than the width of the candle, to keep the wax from falling onto anything

- Spread out everything that you have to plug in

- Use power strips

- Keep a fire extinguisher close by when cooking

- Keep an eye on your surroundings

Inspector Sedrick Robinett recalled his second day on the job in 2004 attending a fire the day before Christmas. He says at that fire, "no one died, there were no fatalities thank God but after the end of the day and the fire was out there were a lot of people, residents outside, didn't have a place to live because it just got burned, didn't have any toys to give".

Make sure to also keep watch on your kids while cooking big meals. Carlos Jimenez is a burn surgeon with Shriners and says, "it's not so much the bonfire or having fun outside with the campfire but it's just leaving the child unattended".


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