Winter/Holiday Fire Safety Tips

The winter holidays are a wonderful time for family get-togethers and celebrations. They are also a time when fire departments nationwide see a significant increase in preventable home fires.

Hundreds of people die needlessly each winter season as a result of fires involving Christmas trees, candles and unattended cooking.  By taking some simple precautionary steps everyone can enjoy the lights and festivities and remain safe while doing so. 

Fire Safety for Holiday Decorating and Entertaining:

  • Test your smoke alarms.
  • Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Place Christmas trees at least 3 ft. from fireplaces, furnaces or any other heat source.
  • Water live Christmas trees on a regular basis (trees should have fresh green needles) and dispose of them safely within 4 weeks of placing them.
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
  • Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
  • Use clips, not nails to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Blow out lit candles when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Turn off all string lights before leaving home or going to bed.
    Do not burn Christmas tree branches or wrapping paper in fireplaces.
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop.