The Curry Coastal Pilot

Colorful holiday lights are appearing on houses, in windows and on Christmas trees. Wreaths and stockings will soon be hanging above the fireplace. Candles and incense are being lit to create that special mood.

By all means, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. But underneath all the sparkling, happy symbols of holiday cheer lies potential danger.

All it takes is an unattended candle or a poorly connected string of lights to create a fire that could ruin the holiday spirit and possibly take lives.

It's something that can happen in an instant. It's something that can be avoided with due diligence and some common sense.

Many people drape their houses with strings of Christmas lights, sometimes using inadequate extension cords, or placing indoor lights outside. The warnings are there on the packaging for a reason. Ignore them at your own risk.

People light candles throughout the house, often leaving them alone to do a chore, visit a neighbor or take a nap. Usually nothing comes of it, but what if it does?

People place holiday wreaths and other decorations near pellet stoves, fireplaces and heaters. They think it's far enough away, but is it? What if a cat knocks it over, or a child unthinkingly moves it closer?

Make sure to keep the Christmas tree from drying out.

Please take the time to think about safety this holiday season. Check your smoke alarms. Replace them if necessary.

Buy a small fire extinguisher or two andndash; the small price is worth saving a life and property.

Enjoy the holidays to their fullest, but do it safely.

The last thing The Pilot wants to do is write a story about a tragedy that could have easily been avoided.