Everybody likes the bright lights of Christmas, but South Dakota’s Fire Marshal says fire safety must also be a priority during the holiday season.

Home fires are always a threat during the holidays. Fire Marshal Paul Merriman said the potential for fires is higher than usual because there are more chances for fires to begin.

Merriman said that with more lights, candles, cooking, fireplaces, and space heaters, the chances of a home fire increase this time of the year. He said also that if people have a real Christmas tree, that they must make sure it is adequately watered to prevent it from becoming too dry.

No matter what time of year, Merriman said home fire safety must also include smoke alarms. He suggested testing smoke alarms regularly to ensure there are working smoke alarms on each level of the home, in each bedroom, and adjacent to sleeping areas.