Winter holiday fire safety

  • Published
  • By Fire and Emergency Services, National Fire Protection Association
  • 341st Civil Engineer Squadron

Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. Though, that also means a greater risk for fire.

More than one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles and two of every five decoration fires happen due to decorations too close to a heat source.

Throughout this article are a list of tips and what to look out for to ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.

• Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame-resistant or flame-retardant.

• Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.

• Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.

• Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.

• Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.

• Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

• Test smoke alarms and tell guests about the home fire escape plan.

• Keep children and pets away from lit candles.

• Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.

• Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.

• Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind them to keep their smoking materials with them so children do not touch them.

• Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.

Before heading out or to bed, blow out lit candles, turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving the room or going to bed.