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Holiday fire safety

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TYLER (KYTX) - Before you get cozy by the fireplace, take a few moments to make sure your home is safe in this cold weather. From candles to Christmas lights, there are plenty of accidents waiting to happen in people's homes.

"We're expecting some of the coldest weather we've had all year over the next three to four days." says Tyler Assistant Fire Marshal Brandon Davis.

He says if you haven't had your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional yet, now is the time.

"Get that done as soon as possible."

And, he says be sure to keep a screen around your fireplace so embers don't fall out and start a fire.

"It scares me, the houses I see that don't even have any kind of screen or anything."

That's why 62-year-old Jerry Belcher prefers his faux fireplace. He says he feels safer.

"Because I can cut it off when I get ready to go to bed. And, even if I leave it on, I don't think it would be a problem."

And he says he rarely lights candles. But when he does--

"We blow them out."

"We probably have one dozen fires per year caused by candles, at least." says Davis.

Davis says you should keep candles in a safe spot and never leave them burning unattended.

"Children can knock them over. Pets knock them over. They just melt down and combustibles are too close. And, they catch something small on fire."

Pay close attention to all the potential fire starters in your home to keep your holiday season merry.

Space heaters are another danger in your home. Keep those at least three feet away from any combustibles.

And, don't forget the lights on the Christmas trees either. Those need to be turned off at night. They can be especially dangerous if you have a live tree that's dried out.

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