The holiday season is a time of joy and remembrance. It’s also a time when fire damage to homes is more prevalent. Much of this fire damage stems from holiday decorations — holiday trees, string lights, candles, etc. By understanding and being wary of hazards around the holidays, you have an opportunity to ease your risk of a house fire.
Fire Risks During the Holidays
Around the winter holiday season, families across the country don their warmest clothes and start putting up string lights and blow-up decorations in the yard. Around 86% of Americans decorate their homes for the holidays. About 60% will use more than one extension cord. That’s dangerous.
You should never overload an extension cord — this is a major fire risk. Then, there are string lights. If your lights are old, check for signs of damage, such as fraying or chew marks. If you spot such damage, replace the entire setup.
Quick Tips for Celebrating Safely
To make the most of the holidays, we’ve compiled a few quick fire safety tips.
- Keep all decorations at least three feet from heat sources.
- Do not run electrical cords under carpet or rugs.
- Shut off lights and blow out candles before sleeping or leaving.
- Inspect the wires of your string lights and check for the UL holograph label.
Holiday Tree Safety Tips
Artificial Tree Safety Tips
- Look for the “Fire Resistant” label on artificial trees.
- Do not use electrical ornaments or lights on metallic trees.
- Keep your tree three feet from heat sources, such as space heaters or fireplaces.
Live Tree Safety Tips
- Check for freshness. You want green, healthy limbs.
- Cut 1–2 inches off the base before placing a live tree.
- Remember to water a live tree daily.
Candle Safety Tricks
Lit candles during the holidays account for nearly half of all house fires. You can minimize your risk by:
- Avoiding lit candles whenever possible. Use an electrical model instead.
- Do not leave a lit candle unattended.
- Place candles on a stable, non-flammable surface to catch hot wax.
- Keep candles three feet from flammable objects, such as curtains and decorations.
- Extinguish candles before you leave or sleep.
For many more useful fire safety tips for the holiday season, we’ve built a downloadable guide for families. Get your copy of “The Recipe for a Safe Family Holiday — The Do’s and Don’ts for Fire Prevention” today!
Call your local Restoration 1 for 24-hour fire damage restoration around the holidays. We don’t take a day off, so you’ll always have fast relief from technicians who care!