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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release:  
Tuesday, December 3, 2013  
Des Moines, Iowa  

State Fire Marshal Offers Holiday
Decorating Safety Tips


Holiday Decor Picture




  • Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
  • Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors.


  • Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
  • Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.


The State Fire Marshal Division would like to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.  Do not become a statistic.  Two of every five home decoration fires are started by candles.  Nearly half of holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.  The Iowa Department of Public Safety reminds you: FIRE IS EVERYONE’S FIGHT!

Contact Special Agent in Charge Ron Humphrey at 515-725-6145 or email at fminfo@dps.state.ia.us if you have questions about this safety message.


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