Keep safe during the holidays

Pampa, TX - As more Christmas decorations get plugged in, the chance for home fires goes up...but there are ways to keep safe.

The Pampa Fire Department experienced a spike in the number of electrical home fires last year, they had over twenty incidents during the Christmas season.

Which is why this year they are trying to keep that number low.

"Prevention...that's a big thing, if we can do our part and prevent some of these fires, we can save a lot of properties and lives," says Michael Ryan, Fire Marshal, Pampa Fire Department.

That's why the Pampa Fire Department is urging residents to do their part as well.

"They could kind of spread out their lights to different outlets and different plugs," says Michael Ryan, Fire Marshal, Pampa Fire Department.

The main reason for home electrical fires last year were overloaded outlets and surge protectors.

Placing plugs near flammable items can also be a dangerous situation.

"Not even necessarily overloading plugs, just plugs hidden under curtains or rugs, which they begin to hold heat. The heat can't escape so therefore we end up getting a fire," says Michael Ryan, Fire Marshal, Pampa Fire Department.

Before plugging several appliances into an outlet you should know how much power it can hold.

"A normal circuit in a household is rated at twenty amps, which is good for sixteen hundred watts.so when utilizing any product such as Christmas lights, review your lighting wattage on that string of lights," says Dave Crawford, master electrician, B & G Electric.

"Less hours would help, I mean it would put less strain on your wiring and your electrical system," says Michael Ryan, Fire Marshal, Pampa Fire Department.

Because if steps aren't taken...

"One little spark can burn a house down very quickly," says Jason Brown, Pampa Fire Department.

So if you do see a spark, it's important to follow these recommendations:

"I would say the first thing you need to do is cut off the electricity to the residence, call the fire department immediately, and get out of the house and stay out," says Jason Brown, Pampa Fire Department.