SPRINGFIELD (AP)-- Illinois fire officials are offering tips for a safe holiday season.
The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal says there were a dozen fires linked to holiday decorations, Christmas trees and other recreational materials in December 2012. That resulted in more than $85,000 of damage.
State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis says one of the keys to safety is to avoid overloading extension cords. Matkaitis also says it is important to know the difference between outdoor and indoor Christmas lights.
Fire officials say if you have a real Christmas tree, make sure it's watered. Also, make sure the tree isn't blocking an exit and is at least three feet away from a heat source.