ROCKVILLE, Md., (WUSA) -- Holiday decorations can go from delightful to dangerous in just seconds.
TheU.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission points to an increase in injuries related to the festive ornaments.
The estimated number of incidents, including fires, has gone from 12,000 in 2009 to 14,000 last holiday season.
Christmas tree fires, like one set by the CPSC, cost consumers as much as $19 million in property damage between 2008 and 2010.
The holiday season is even longer this year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, even more caution is needed with live trees.
"Consumers are buying them earlier and earlier and that can cause problems. Often people are having such a great time during the holidays that they forget to water the tree which can lead to a terrible fire," says CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.
Keep the tree stand filled with water, keep the tree a safe distance from heat vents, radiators and fire places.
Never string lights with broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires or loose connections on any tree.
And, don't burn candles on unstable surfaces where they can be knocked over or leave them unattended.
CPSC Prevent Holiday Decoration Fires
the bottom line, safety experts say, is to use common sense and make sure to put a safety plan in place to avoid unwanted accidents and injuries.
It is the one gift you can give to your family to ensure they'll have a merry and happy holiday season.