Holiday Fire Safety Tips
It’s the season for holiday celebrations and family get-togethers, but it's also a time when homes are filled with more people than normal. And that means more potential for fires. Here are some tips on how to keep your home and loved ones safe this holiday season.
Reduce the Risk of Christmas Tree Fires
- If you are planning on using a real tree, make sure it is fresh and green.
- Keep the tree well watered. A dry tree will be more flammable than a well-watered one.
- Keep the tree away from heat sources such as candles or lamps that use flame, ovens or electricity.
- Don't place candles near the tree because they can cause it to catch fire if they fall over or get too close to branches of your Christmas tree when lit up with lights that have become old and worn out over time (more than 3 years old).
Holiday Decorating Tips
Use lights that are marked as flame retardant. When buying holiday lights, look for the label "flame retardant" on the package. These types of lights are designed to withstand a potential fire and contain less toxic materials than most other artificial Christmas decorations.
Keep your tree away from heat sources such as candles or space heaters.
Don't overload extension cords with too many light strands; make sure they aren't tangled up with each other or anything else in your home that could cause them to short out (like paper towels on the floor). Also consider using an outlet timer so you don't have to worry about turning off all those lights at night!
Avoiding Candle Fires
Keep candles away from curtains and other flammable materials.
Don't leave candles unattended, even for a brief period of time.
Burn candles for no more than 4 hours at a time—and never leave them burning overnight.
Place your candle on a stable, heat-resistant surface that is not easily combustible (such as wood).
How May Electrical Fires be Prevented?
Christmas lights are a popular feature in many homes during the holiday season. It is important to practice Christmas light safety and use caution when installing or using electrical decorations.
It is recommended that metallic trees not be illuminated with electric lights. Extension cords should be used for indoor and outdoor lighting needs, including those for trees, garlands, wreaths, etc.
All electrical decorations should be turned off when leaving the house or going to bed at night. This includes indoor and outdoor Christmas lights as well as other electrical decorations such as inflatable lawn figures or inflatables of any kind that require electricity for operation.
Is Your Fireplace Prepared for the Christmas Season?
Check your fireplace to make sure it's clean. This will help prevent creosote buildup, which can cause dangerous chimney fires.
Make sure you have working smoke detectors that are properly installed and maintained in every room of your house.
Make sure you have a fire extinguisher located on each floor of your home (in addition to the one in the kitchen), near all exits and clearly labeled with instructions on what type of fire they can be used on (such as "Class A" or "Class B"). Some states require two types of extinguishers per building, with at least one being automatic; check your local regulations for specifics about placement and maintenance requirements for these devices before purchasing them from a hardware store or online retailer.
Having an easy-to-reach location for a fire blanket nearby is also important—if anything catches fire before you get back from running errands downtown this afternoon then hopefully you'll remember where it was stored!
With these tips, you can make sure your home is safe and secure during this holiday season. Remember, a fire is not something to take lightly. While most people know how to deal with small fires, larger ones can quickly overwhelm even the best-equipped homes unless you're prepared for them ahead of time!