The holiday season is meant to be a time of joy as we exchange gifts, spend time with family and friends, enjoy delicious food, and decorate our homes with beautiful lights and decorations. When decorating your home, it’s critical to be mindful of potential fire hazards. A home fire is a serious safety risk for everyone in the home, and even a small fire is sure to put a damper on holiday festivities.
The Christmas Tree
Christmas trees, both artificial and live, can be a fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), almost one-third of Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical malfunctions, while 1-in-5 are caused by trees being too close to heat sources. While Christmas tree fires aren’t very common, they are likely to be serious when they do occur.
- Place your tree at least 3 feet away from a heat source.
- Make sure your string lights are UL-certified.
- Inspect your string lights and replace any that are damaged.
- Turn your lights off at night, or when you’re away.
- Never put lit candles on your tree.
- Water your live tree daily.
- Do not block any exits with your tree.
Keeping your live tree watered can keep it from drying out—a dried-out live tree is a significant fire hazard. After the holiday season has ended, send your tree to a recycling program as it begins to dry out—do not store it in your home, garage, or outside against your home.
Pre-lit artificial trees have become increasingly popular over the years due to their minimal upkeep and ease of use. Just like with string lights, make sure your pre-lit artificial tree is UL-certified and inspect it regularly.
Nothing says “holidays” like a well-decorated home. Decorating brings with it a lot of family fun, and it brightens up your house during the holidays. It is important, however, to be careful when decorating and consider any potential safety hazards. According to NFPA, more than one-third of home decoration fires are caused by candles, while 2-in-5 are caused by decorations being too close to heat sources.
If you decorate with candles, make sure the candles are placed away from anything flammable, such as your Christmas tree. In addition, only burn candles when you’re nearby and able to supervise them. If you move to another area of the house, leave, or go to bed, then be sure to extinguish the candles to prevent a potential fire.
As with Christmas tree lights, make sure any lights in and on your home are UL-certified. Most lights are considered safe for either indoor use or outdoor use, but not both. Make sure you’re using your string lights as intended. Use clips to hang your outdoor lights, rather than nails. Nails run the risk of damaging the lights and causing an electrical fire.
A big holiday gathering with family and friends is the best part of the holiday season. If you’re hosting, take some simple steps to lower your risk of experiencing a fire.
Test all your home’s smoke alarms and any other safety systems before your event. If you want even more peace of mind, have a professional come out to inspect and test everything to make sure it’s all in good working condition.
Keep lighters and matches out of reach of children and ensure that any lit candles cannot be accessed by children or pets. If possible, don’t light any candles while your home has a lot of guests, as you may be distracted and there is a chance of someone knocking into a candle.
While cooking, always stay in the kitchen and watch the stove. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, and a lot of cooking happens during the holiday season. Keep an eye on the stove whenever it’s on to ensure the safety of your family and friends.
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting
people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.