We love the holiday season for the chance to spend extra time with friends and family while enjoying traditions like Christmas trees, outdoor lighting displays, and special recipes. But with the holiday season also comes busyness that may lead us to forget holiday fire safety measures. To make sure you have a safe and merry holiday season, let’s go through some holiday fire safety tips for decorations, festivities, and common household items.
Selecting a live tree and decorating it as a family is a hallmark of the holiday season. However, trees decorated with frayed lights or placed too close to the fireplace or space heater can become a hazard. In fact, Christmas tree fires start an average of 160 home fires every year. That’s why it is important to follow these holiday fire safety guidelines when decorating and taking care of your tree:
- Only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable.
- Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires or wear.
- Don’t link more than three strands of holiday lights together.
- Keep your live Christmas tree away from heat sources.
- Water your live Christmas tree daily so it doesn’t become dry.
Also, check out our complete guide on how to prevent Christmas tree fires.
Menorah or Kinara
Many families celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa with candles as the centerpiece of their decor. However, it’s important to know that one-third of home fires during the holidays are caused by unattended candles. To maintain holiday fire safety while respecting traditions around the menorah or kinara, keep these tips in mind:
- Never leave a burning candle unattended.
- Consider using battery-operated flameless candles.
- Keep flammable items like curtains and decorations away from your candles.
- Use a non-flammable surface to catch the candle wax.
Outdoor Lighting Displays
Decorating your porch or lawn with lighting is a great way to show holiday spirit, but improper use of indoor-rated lighting or using metal nails to hang string lights can become a major hazard. Instead, remember these holiday fire safety tips for creating a beautiful – and safe – outdoor lighting display.
- Use insulated hooks or clips to prevent electrocution or fire.
- Ensure lights are made for outdoor use.
- Use outdoor-rated light bulbs.
- Invest in outdoor-rated extension cords and power strips.
Baking and Cooking
Remembering to cook and bake safely is important year-round, but it can be easy to forget during the most chaotic days of the holiday season. To give your friends and family a safe and delicious holiday meal, follow these holiday fire safety tips in the kitchen:
- Keep bags, oven mitts, wooden utensils, and decorations away from the stove and oven.
- Clean up greasy spills and never leave cooking oil unattended.
- Fully thaw your turkey before deep frying it.
- Don’t wear loose or danging clothes when cooking.
- Always use a timer on the stove or oven.
- Make sure all appliances are off before going to bed.
Children and adults enjoy watching fireworks light up the winter sky during the holidays for Christmas and New Year. If you plan on creating a firework display at or near your home, consider these safety tips:
- Set off fireworks far away from buildings and trees.
- Keep children and pets away from the fireworks.
- Have water and a fire extinguisher on hand.
Did you know that two out of every five holiday fires start because decorations were placed too close to a heat source? It can be easy to forget the potential danger of a fireplace because they are common in many homes. Keep these holiday fire safety tips in mind when gathering around the fire:
- Remove stockings before lighting the fireplace.
- Keep wrapping paper, rugs, and decorations away from the fire.
- Always use a fire screen or grate.
- Fully extinguish embers for going to bed.
Space heaters are another common household item that’s easy to forget about, especially when there are on for hours during cold winter days. But remind your family that space heaters can be dangerous, with portal heaters causing 81% of home heating fires. So be careful this winter season by following these holiday fire safety tips around your space heater:
- Keep the heater at least three feet away from anything flammable.
- Place it out of reach of children and pets.
- Plug directly into an outlet, not a power strip.
- Be sensitive to unusual or burning smells from the heater.
Call Safe-T Fire for More Holiday Fire Safety Tips
If you have a holiday fire safety question, be sure to call your local fire department or Safe-T Fire Protection. Our fire safety experts are always happy to give you tips for having a safe holiday season. We also provide fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and more to keep your home or business safe year-round.