Missouri fire officials urge caution during holidays

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | 7:05 a.m. CST; updated 10:46 a.m. CST, Wednesday, December 15, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri fire officials are urging people to be careful with candles and Christmas trees around the holidays.

State Fire Marshal Randy Cole says fires are more common this time of year because of colder temperatures, more cooking and holiday decorations.

Federal safety officials say Christmas trees lead to about 200 home fires and injure dozens of people each year. The peak time for candle fires is around Christmas and New Year's Day. About 13 percent of those blazes started with holiday decorations.

Cole says Missouri residents should check their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and review home escape plans with visiting guests.

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