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Over the hills and through the woods, from our offices to our family’s houses we go this holiday season. But while we are decking the halls and spreading cheer, it is crucial to be mindful of potential fire risks that can accompany our celebrations, both at work and at home.

Protecting your home from holiday-related fire hazards is essential for your family’s safety and for maintaining peace of mind during this joyous time. In this article, we will discuss the fire risks associated with holiday decorations and festivities and offer practical tips to keep your family’s home safe.

Decorative Lights and Electrical Safety


The allure of twinkling lights is a hallmark of the holiday season, but their improper use can pose serious risks.

Here are some key steps to take to prevent fires:

Live Christmas Trees and Fire Prevention

A beautifully adorned Christmas tree can be the centerpiece of your holiday decor, but it also comes with fire risks.

To maximize your safety, follow these tips:

  • Keep your Christmas tree well-hydrated throughout the holiday season. Check the water level daily and ensure that the tree stand reservoir is always filled to prevent the tree from drying out.
  • A common mistake during the holiday season is overloading electrical outlets. Plugging too many strands of lights into a single outlet can lead to overheating and a fire hazard. Distribute lights across multiple outlets and use a power strip with overload protection.

Candles and Open Flames

Candles, including advent wreaths and menorahs, honor tradition and add a warm and cozy ambiance to holiday gatherings, but they require careful attention. Keep candles away from flammable materials, never leave them unattended, and consider opting for flameless LED alternatives. Ensure candles are placed in stable holders and positioned where they cannot be knocked over easily. Keep candle wicks trimmed to about a quarter of an inch. Longer wicks can create larger flames, increasing the risk of a fire

Holiday Cooking Safety

The holiday season often involves elaborate feasts and cooking sessions. Prevent kitchen fires by staying vigilant while cooking and never leaving appliances unattended. Unattended stovetops and ovens can lead to accidental fires or kitchen mishaps. If you need to step away, ask someone to watch over the cooking or set a timer to remind you to return promptly.


Here are some additional tips:


Fireplace Safety

If you have a fireplace, follow these steps:

  • A sturdy fireplace screen or glass doors contain sparks and embers.
  • Keep the area around the fireplace clear of flammable materials (including rugs and furniture), decorations, and combustibles to prevent accidental ignition.
  • Wait at least 24 hours after the last use before removing ashes, and use a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Place the container outside, away from flammable materials. Never dispose of ashes in a paper or plastic bag.

Prepare for the Worst—and Hope for the Best

Despite your best efforts, accidents can happen. Ensure your home is equipped with working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Establish an emergency evacuation plan for your family and educate everyone on its procedures.

While the holidays are a time for joy and celebration, it’s crucial to approach the season with a safety-first mindset. By being aware of potential fire risks and implementing preventative measures, you can create a festive, safe environment for your loved ones.

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Learn more about preventing holiday hazards.
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Check out this whitepaper



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