Holiday Fire Safety Tips — How to Prevent Fires this Holiday Season

holiday fire safety

As we all start to recover from our Tryptophan coma brought on by the all-day turkey binge, we will roll right into the Christmas and winter holiday season. While December marks a wonderful time of year that is filled with family celebration, December also marks a peak in the number of home fires. This is, in large part, attributed to the hazards associated with celebrating winter holidays. With a few simple holiday fire safety tips, Ohio families can prevent most holiday fire damage and enjoy an incident-free celebration. 

Holiday Fire Prevention Tips For Ohio Homeowners

Holiday traditions often create more hazardous environments if Ohio homeowners are not careful. Between excess candles, all those lights, flammable trees, flammable decorations, over clutter, and so much more, your home is more vulnerable to fire damage than ever. As we prep for the holidays to come, it is important to review some holiday fire safety tips to properly prepare the home and prevent home fire damage.

Christmas Tree Fire Safety Tips

There is nothing quite like picking out a live Christmas tree with your family. If you prefer to have a live tree for the holidays, it is important to remember the risks that come with keeping a live tree this season. A dried-out Christmas tree can become completely engulfed in flames in a matter of seconds. By taking appropriate fire preventative measures, you can protect you, your family and your home from the dangers of the Christmas tree fire.

  • Be sure the tree is freshly cut, with green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Cut the trunk at a 45-degree angle before placing it in the tree stand.
  • Make sure to water your tree every day. Choose a high-quality tree base that allows for ample watering.
  • Keep the tree at least three feet away from any heat source.
  • Make sure the tree is not covering heat vents, blocking walkways or near flammable items.
  • Remove the tree from the home as soon as it dries out.
  • Don’t plug more than three strands of lights into each other. Use a power strip to add additional strands.
  • Always unplug lights before going to bed or leaving the house.

Holiday Decoration Fire Safety Tips

Holiday decorating and holiday lighting can be very dangerous if done improperly, without taking the appropriate fire safety precautions. Electrical fires caused by frayed or improperly installed holiday lights account for a significant number of house fires during the holiday season.

  • It is important to install the right lights for the job — use outdoor lights for your exterior, and use indoor lights for your interior. Most Christmas lights are not properly rated for both.
  • Be careful not to overload your power circuit.
  • Always shut off power to your lights and decorations before leaving the home or going to bed.
  • Test outdoor lights before hanging them to make sure their ground fault interrupters do not trip the circuit breaker.
  • Inspect all lights and decorations every year. Repair and/or replace lights and decorations as needed.

Holiday Cooking Fire Safety Tips

Some of us wait all year for that big family holiday feast. Life gets busy and time gets away from us, and the holiday season is often the only time of year some of us get to share a meal with all our family. So, let’s not ruin the family meal with a massive holiday house fire. Any time we go into the kitchen and cook we should always proceed with caution. During the holidays, the kitchen always seems just a touch more chaotic than usual. All the more reason to practice appropriate holiday fire safety.

  • Keep young children away from sharp, hot or flammable items in the kitchen.
  • Keep children and flammable objects far away from open flames, active stoves and active ovens.
  • Keep hot pads on hand to protect from burns.
  • Cleanup  grease spills immediately.
  • If you plan to deep fry a turkey, please so away from structures, trees and flammable objects — and follow proper turkey frying procedures.
  • When possible avoid leaving food unattended while still cooking. Unattended food can quickly overflow the pan and cause a grease fire.
  • Keep a fully-charged kitchen fire extinguisher rated for all types of fires in the kitchen in an easily accessible location.

Candle Fire Safety Tips

A dimly, candle-lit space during the holiday season is warm, cozy and inviting. Additionally, some holiday traditions require the presence of candles like Menorahs and Kinaras. Whether it is an aesthetic choice or a tradition root in culture, it is important to keep in mind the dangers of an open flame. Candles are easily forgotten about and tipped over in all the festivities. With all the flammable decorations, presents and materials present, a forgotten candle can be a recipe for disaster.

  • Place candles on a sturdy surface and at least 12 inches away from anything that might be flammable.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Never leave candles unattended. Double check that all candles have been extinguished anytime you leave the home or go to bed.
  • Consider a safer alternative to live flames and switch to LED flame-less candles.

Often times, just taking the time to learn about fire safety and taking the right precautionary steps can go a long way in preventing a house fire during the holiday season. However, other times, accidents happen that may be out of the homeowner’s control. In the event of a serious holiday fire, a trained fire damage restoration professional in Ohio can help with the aftermath.