GREENBURGH, N.Y. — As you head to the attic or basement to get out your Christmas decorations for the holidays, Greenburgh police and fire district officials remind residents to take caution while decorating.
At least 400 house fires involving Christmas trees and holiday lights spark every year during the holidays, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
But there are ways to avoid a Christmas crisis. For one, tree maintenance can make all the difference, said Hartsdale Fire District Captain Barry Zezze.
"Well-watered trees are not a problem. A dry and neglected tree can be," Zezze wrote on the district's website.
Bending some of the needles is an easy trick to find out whether your tree is too dry. If the needles break, your tree needs water, according to the Fairview Fire Department. And for better water absorption, trim the branches, and cut off about two inches from the bottom of the trunk before you display the tree.
Getting ready to hang up your holiday lights? Frayed wires and overloaded electrical outlets cause problems every year, Zezze said. About 75 percent of holiday light-related fires are due to electrical issues, regardless of whether the lights are on an indoor tree or outside your home, according to the NFPA.
"Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe," Zezze wrote. "And make sure to periodically check the wires — they should not be warm to the touch."
Holiday lights should be turned off and candles put out before leaving the house, the Fairview Fire Department advises. And be sure all candles are equipped with nonflammable holders.
Greenburgh Police Chief Joe DeCarlo also issued a reminder Tuesday that the town's snow parking ordinance will take effect starting Saturday.
Between Dec. 1 and March 15, no parking is allowed on town roads between 1 and 6 a.m., to facilitate snow removal. Exceptions are specifically marked roads where snow removal operations take place at different times of the day, including Fieldstone Drive, Pinewood Road and Rockledge Road.