AUGUSTA, GA (WJBF) – A demonstration was held at Doctors Hospital to encourage people to be safe this holiday season.
“We just made it through the number one day for residential fires being Thanksgiving and so we are on the cusp of the number two and number three day in the United States, and that’s Christmas and New Years,” said Fire Chief, Antonio Burden.
Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America partnered with the Augusta Fire Department to demonstrate the risks electrical sparks have on watered vs dry Christmas Trees.
“Today we’re doing a little demonstration of how one needs to be careful around the Christmas season with regards to things that we cherish each year and that’s our, and that’s our Christmas trees but while beautiful can also be harmful,” said the Chief Medical Officer for Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America, and Joseph M. Still Burn Center, Shawn Fagan.
Almost one third of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
“While having a natural tree is a wonderful thing, disposing of it and recycling it versus burning it is one thing we would like folks to learn and the second thing is some of the safety tips you can do while you have a natural tree to avoid an unnecessary fire in ones home,” said Fagan.
“Live trees are great. We want to encourage our stakeholders to ensure that they maintain proper hydration of those trees, ensuring that they are watered every day, as well as we want to make sure that we do not overload our surge and our electrical outlets. So we definitely want to encourage our citizens to utilize UL listed surge protectors as opposed to electrical cords and extension cords,” said Burden.
During the month of December the Augusta Fire Department averages 11 electrical fire responses with number one cause being outlets overloaded.