5 Tips for Fire Safety During the Holidays

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you may feel stressed and overwhelmed as you prepare your home. Keep fire safety for the holidays in mind so you can enjoy safe gatherings without incident this year.

Stay Safe Around Candles

Advent wreaths, kinaras, and menorahs adorn houses this time of year. Although candles and live flames add to the holiday spirit, be sure to watch them closely. Using electric or battery-operated LED candles in your displays is ideal for fire safety.

However, if real candles are an important part of your traditions, do not leave them unattended. Burn candles on a level surface and away from curtains, decorations, and furniture. If you opt for candlesticks in your table’s centerpiece, be careful passing dishes so they’re not knocked onto a flammable tablecloth or napkin.

Decorate the Holiday Tree Safely

A real holiday tree becomes a fire hazard the longer it’s in your home. A dry tree can easily catch fire from a nearby candle or malfunctioning string lights. Never connect more than three strings of lights, and always check the lights for frayed wires before decorating with them.

Water your tree every day to prevent it from drying out too quickly. Unplug holiday lights and blow out any candles before you go to bed or leave your home.

Holiday Fire Safety in the Kitchen

Cooking a feast and baking treats are part of the holiday fun, but these can be dangerous when kids and pets are crowding the kitchen. Have another adult available to watch children and animals while food is being prepared.

For efficiency and safety, a clean and organized kitchen is important. If you have help in the kitchen, give each person a station so there’s no need to maneuver around one another. Keep towels in an accessible place to clean up spills as they happen. Only allow experienced adults to handle deep frying.

Fire Safety and Heat Sources During the Holidays

A crackling fire in the fireplace sets the holiday mood, but practice safety when starting the fire and enjoying the flames. Remove stockings from the mantlepiece before lighting a fire. Keep gifts and gift wrap away from the hearth. Drapes, furniture, rugs, and blankets should be kept a minimum of three feet away from the flames.

Space heaters can also pose a fire hazard and should only be used for short periods of time. Unplug them before leaving the house or going to bed. As with any heat source, keep space heaters away from flammable items. This includes curtains, bedding, throw pillows, furniture, and holiday decorations.

You can be festive and safe this year if you follow basic safety practices. Set reminders to extinguish candles, unplug holiday lights, and turn off space heaters. Test your smoke detectors and replace batteries, if necessary. Make sure that your fire extinguisher is in working order, and if you don’t have one, purchase one before the holidays arrive.

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