HOLIDAYS is COMING! What are best practices to prevent FIRE?
Our holiday traditions can increase the risk of home fire. Learn how to stay safe while you celebrate.
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.
Celebrate Safely this Holiday Season
With the holidays right around the corner, it is important to be mindful of fire safety so you and your loved ones can enjoy this season safely. During the holiday season, decorations, cooking and other fire hazards need to be managed with care to prevent fires.
How do you avoid electrical fires?
Practice Christmas light safety by buying your lights from reputable retailers. Check that your lights are approved by a nationally recognized testing lab such as UL, Intertek or CSA. UL identifies products meeting safety requirement for indoor and outdoor use with a red holographic label. For indoor only usage, the product will have a green holographic label.
Be sure to check all lights and throw out any that have broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or any loose connections.
Never use electric lights on metallic trees.
Make sure to use extension cords for their intended use - indoors, outdoors or both.
Be sure to plug outdoor Christmas lights in to circuits that are protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs).
Fasten outdoor lights securely to the house, trees or other supports to keep them from pulling away with the wind. But don’t damage the cord with fasteners. Take care not to puncture roofing shingles when fastening lights to the home.
Watch for water and snow and keep both extension cords and lights clear of them.
Make sure cords and light strands are not pinched in doors, windows or under furniture. This can damage the cord and its insulation.
When you leave home or go to bed, be sure to turn off all indoor and outdoor Christmas lights and electrical decorations.
Be very careful around power lines - keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet away from them.
Don’t overload electrical outlets with too many decorations or other electrical devices - they could overheat and cause a fire.
Decorating with Fire Safety in Mind
Holiday decorations including Christmas trees, can be pretty to look at but need to be used safely. Some holiday decorating tips include:
Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant
Keep lit candles away from decorations
Turn off all string lights before going to bed
Blow out lit candles before going to bed or leaving the room
Make sure Christmas trees are at least three feet away from any heat source
Water your Christmas tree regularly
Replace any string of lights that have worn or broken cords or loose light bulb connections
Never use lit candles to decorate your Christmas tree