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Winter Holiday Safety

Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire. Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.

HOLIDAY DECORATING

  • Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant. Forty-two percent of decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn. More than a third of home decoration fires are started by candles.
  • 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. Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 43% of home Christmas tree fires.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
  • Keep pets and children at least three feet away from burning candles and electrical cords to prevent burns and electrical fires.

HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING

  • Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your 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 smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young 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 when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.

Remember to have working smoke alarms in your home and create a home escape plan. Practice it with your family so everyone knows what to do if a fire does occur. Find addtional tips and resources about holiday fire safety at https://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/seasonal-fires/winter-holiday-safety