LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - As the temperatures drop, Arkansans are forced to look for more sources to keep their house warm. At the same time, people are using those same sources to light trees and houses during the holiday season, which the Little Rock Fire Department said could lead to a few problems.
So far, 13 families in Little Rock have lost their home due to fire and the Little Rock Fire Department is hoping to keep that number from growing. And while firefighters say it's okay to bring out space heaters and Christmas lights, it’s overloading on sources that becomes the issue.
Warren Robinson, Senior Captain for the Little Rock Fire Department, said it's during this time of year when people use more power and lights around the house that can increase the chance of house fires. Robinson said preventing the problem is as simple as watering your Christmas tree.
"No one has a greater interest protecting your home like you,” Robinson said. "During this holiday if you have a natural Christmas tree in your home make sure you're watering it once a week."
Other preventative measures include picking out the proper bulbs. He said reading to make sure if the bulbs are meant for indoor or outdoor use is a key step in decorating your home.
"During this season a lot of things can go differently with the drop in temperature. People are going to be using extra sources with the holidays,” Robinson said.
A wreath outside clad in red and green bulbs marks the victims who have lost their house to a fire this season. For every red bulb means that house has either been burned down or deemed inhabitable.
Alena Jones, an Inn Keeper for Empress of Little Rock, knows all too well what safety measure to take during the holidays.
"We like to keep the house lit for guests,” Jones said. "We do have a pretty rigorous routine of turning lights off and on in the morning when we come in."
Each morning she turns on about a dozen light and that doesn't include upstairs where six rooms have their own lights and Christmas tree. Jones said with so many lights around the house it's important to eliminate the possibility of a fire.
"Turn the lights off if you're not using them. If you are going to leave a room or if you're leaving home for a while, there's no reason to have it on,” Robinson said.
A lot of people re-use lights every year and while there's nothing wrong with that, after a few years of usage, Captain Robinson suggested checking to see if the wires are still intact avoiding the possibility of lights catching fire.