MISSOURI — Whether you start decking the halls the day after Halloween or you’re more of a last-minute decorator, fire safety should always be at the top of your mind during the holiday season.

From Christmas trees to holiday candles, fireplaces to dangling garland, holiday decor can be hazardous if not properly installed or monitored.

KMZU’s Brian Lock was joined by Dep. Chief Jimmy Walker, with the Kansas City Fire Department, who shared some tips for how to ensure your holiday stays hazard-free.

Click below to hear their conversation, which aired Wednesday on KMZU.


During the holiday season, 47,000 fires occurred in 2016, resulting in more than 500 lives lost and 2,200 injuries.

“This is the most dangerous time for home fires of the year,” Walker said. “Claims that are filed increase the highest rate between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.”

Nearly half of holiday decoration fires occur because decorations were placed too close to a heat source. Candles account for more than a third of home decoration fires as well.