AUSTIN (KXAN) — Firefighters and medics are always at the ready. But they spoke with KXAN about some specific fires and injuries that are more common this time of year.

“Our houses are full of family, full of friends – and full of decorations too,” said Kassidy Buth, Public Information Officer for Travis County Emergency Services District 12 in Manor. “Candles are very popular this time of year. And it’s so easy to put a candle next to decorations that can catch on fire very easily.”

To remedy that, she suggests using battery-operated candles if you plan to have a packed house.

Live Christmas trees can also be a fire hazard if they’re not cared for properly. While people are typically diligent with watering them every day at first, firefighters said people sometimes forget the days around and after Christmas.

“An electrical short in the tree lights could spark and cause the tree to catch on fire,” said Buth.

And while November is in the past, “turkey frying is not just something for Thanksgiving,” Buth added.

You can avoid turkey-frying fires by:

  • Keeping your fryer on a flat surface
  • Staying far away from any structures
  • Using water first to gauge how much oil you need

The holidays also keep medics busy. Austin-Travis County EMS said a lot of the injuries they see are related to decorations.

“Electrical shock when people are putting up Christmas lights either indoors or outdoors,” said Capt. Darren Noak, adding that this also goes for taking them down.

Medics also respond to a lot of calls from people who have fallen off ladders. Capt. Noak advised to avoid standing on the top step.

“You know, all the ladders say it, don’t step higher than here,” he said.

AAA Texas expects about nine million people to drive to their holiday events across the state. Capt. Noak said the uptick in collisions can be particularly crushing for families on the way to visit loved ones.

“Nothing puts you in a poor Christmas spirit like when we roll up onto that collision and we realize it’s a vehicle full of a family headed off to grandma’s house,” he said.