Fire Safety: What You Need to Know Before Warming Yourself by the Fire This Holiday Season

For a fun & safe holiday season be sure to follow these precautionary fire safety steps and tips.

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The holidays are a time for fun, family, friends and festivities. It’s the time of year to deck the halls of your house in festive decorations, spend time with beloved family and friends, and partake in seasonal events, gatherings and traditions. It’s extremely easy to get caught up in the midst of all the fun and excitement of the holidays, but it’s also extremely important to remember safety around the holidays, especially fire safety.

Menorahs, Christmas trees, fireplaces, candles, and holiday lights are just some of the various traditional holiday decorations that people love to use, but they can also be some of the most dangerous holiday fire hazards. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, two out of five home decoration fires are started by candles and, although they are not that common, one of every forty reported home Christmas tree fires have resulted in death. Check out these holiday safety tips to keep you and your family safe this holiday season.

  • Keep all candles a minimum of 12 inches away from flammable items or things that could burn.
  • Test your smoke detectors and alarms to make sure they are functioning properly and change the batteries at least once per year.
  • Be sure to use a timer when cooking as a reminder that you have something in the works, especially for longer prep meals.
  • Christmas trees get very dry after awhile so after Christmas, or when it is dry, be sure to dispose of your tree.
  • Keep candles in sturdy candle holders and placed on uncluttered surfaces. Or opt for flame-less candles.
  • Holiday season means lots of cooking! Make sure all items that can catch fire are away from your stove top, like oven mitts, food packaging, plastic bags, etc.
  • Unplug your tree and lights when leaving the house and going to bed.
  • Keep all holiday decorations at least 3 feet away from things like radiators, candles, fireplaces, space heaters and heat vents.
  • Be sure to extinguish all candles when going to bed or leaving the house, and never use lit candles on Christmas trees.
  • Bring in all outdoor electrical lights after the holidays to prevent any accidents, and to make them last longer!

[Source: USFA, Red Cross]

Photo by Alfred Borchard via Free Images.