Holiday Safety Tips

The holidays have arrived! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or another holiday entirely, your home could be more at risk for fire during this time of year. Between holiday lights, fireplaces, candles, and decorations, your home can become a huge fire hazard during the months of December and January. Did you know? Christmas trees account for about 200 home fires each year, while US fire departments respond to about 840 home fire situations each year due to holiday decorations (unrelated to Christmas trees). About 300 of those holiday decoration fires can be attributed to candles.

It’s vital to do what you can to lessen the chances of a fire while still being able to enjoy celebrating the holidays. We’ve gathered a few tips that will up the safety in your home this season, so read on!

No matter what holiday you celebrate, you’ll likely be doing plenty of cooking and baking this month. That means taking precautions against kitchen fires. How can you do this?

1. Never leave the kitchen while cooking.
2. Keep flammable items (plastic bags, pot holders, etc) away from stove eyes.
3. Keep children out of the kitchen while cooking is going on.
4. Make sure the floor is clear of any impediments.
5. Clean up any grease that spills.
6. Don’t wear loose clothing while cooking as it can brush against hot eyes or the oven.

When it comes to holiday decorating, there are several things to keep an eye on.

1. If you celebrate Christmas and use a real tree, make sure you water it each day to ensure it doesn’t become too dry. The drier it is, the more flammable!
2. Always unplug Christmas tree lights when you leave the house or before you go to sleep.
3. Place Christmas trees at least 3 feet away from any sources of heat, such as the fireplace or candles.
4. No matter what you celebrate, choose decorations that are flame resistant or retardant.
5. If you’re using strings of lights, check bulbs to make sure they all work and check cords to make sure they haven’t frayed or broken.
6. Don’t plug a million things into a single circuit! Remember National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?
7. Place decorative candles far out of reach of children, pets, and flammable objects.
8. If you’re celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanzaa and have a menorah or kinara, ensure it is placed 3 feet away from curtains, flammable decorations or greenery. Alternatively, consider an electric menorah or kinara.
9. Place your menorah or kinara on a stable surface that is non-flammable and is out of reach of pets or small children.
10. Never leave a menorah or kinara unattended!

With these tips, you can be sure you’ll have a safer holiday season with plenty of fun and cheer! From us to you, happy holidays!

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