Fire Safety for the Holidays

Each year, during the holiday season, there are several thousand individuals injured and nearly a billion dollars in damage caused by fire.  Don’t turn you happy holidays into tragedy.  There are a few extra fire safety precautions that you can take to reduce the likelihood of becoming a static:

Trees

Trees are an important part of the holiday decorations for many people.  Use fire safety rules when decorating your tree:

  • Make sure your tree is at least 3 feet away from heat sources.
  • Make sure the tree does not block exits.
  • Be sure to keep live trees moist by giving plenty of water every day.
  • Remove live trees before they become dry and needles are falling.

Candles

Candles make for a festive atmosphere during times of celebration; but, can be a great danger if not used properly:

  • Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
  • If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be knocked down easily.
  • Don’t use lit candles as decoration on a tree.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.
  • Never leave candles unattended; extinguish all candles before leaving the room or going to sleep.
  • Do not have candles within the reach of young children.

Fireplaces

Fireplaces offer a beautiful source of heat when used properly:

  • Have your fireplace and chimney cleaned once a year to remove creosote.
  • When using the fireplace always have a screen in place to prevent sparks from entering the room.
  • Burn only seasoned wood. Don’t burn wrapping paper, packing material, or other rubbish
  • Wait until the ashes are cool to remove them from the fireplace.
  • Dispose of ashes in a non-combustible container.

Electricity

Cords and plugs are the leading cause ignition of holiday decorations.

  • Inspect holiday lights each year before you put them up. Throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instruction the number of light strands to connect.
  • Always unplug the Christmas tree before leaving the house or going to sleep.

Cooking

What holiday celebration is complete without food?  Whether a quick snack or a huge holiday meal, always think fire safety when cooking:

  • When cooking for the holiday, visitors can become a distraction. Always remember to keep an eye on the stove, oven, and other sources of heat.
  • If you leave the kitchen during food preparation, a timer or something to remind you to check on the food will help prevent something from burning.

If you have questions regarding fire safety, call your local fire department!