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7 Tips for Holiday Home Fire Safety

Holiday time and the winter season pose greater fire risks. Here are 7 tips to help keep your home fire-safe this holiday season.

~ Did You Know? Candle fires peak in December; (60%) were started when something flammable such as furniture, bedding, curtains, or decorations was too close to a candle.1

  1. Stay alert while cooking. Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home injuries.1 Avoid using the stove if you’re sleepy or have had a bit to drink. If you’ll be grilling, frying, or broiling indoors, stay in your kitchen. Keep oven mitts, dish towels, and anything else that can catch fire away from your stovetop. Be especially careful when using outdoor grills, smokers, and turkey fryers as these can pose an even greater risk to people and property.

    ~ Did You Know? Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.1
     
  2. Use candles with care. More than 33% of home decoration fires are started by candles.1 Keep candles away from decorations and anything else that is flammable. Never leave a room unattended while a candle is burning. Keep children and pets away from lit candles.

    ~ Did You Know? Candle fires peak in December; (60%) were started when something flammable such as furniture, bedding, curtains, or decorations was too close to a candle.1

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  4. Take care with fireworks. Ten percent of fireworks fires occur between December 30 and January 3, with the peak on New Year's Day. Keep fireworks away from any building structures and don’t set them off in or near dry brush.
     
  5. Ensure your heating system is clean & safe. Hire a professional to inspect and clean your furnace annually. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from your furnace or any other heating unit. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from open fires and electric heaters.
     
  6. Keep guests safe while entertaining. Keep matches and lighters up high, preferably in a locked cabinet. Ask any smokers to smoke outside and provide large, deep ashtrays. Stay in the kitchen when cooking and keep holiday decorations far away from the stovetop.

    ~ Did You Know? 21% of decoration fires started in the kitchen.1
     
  7. Take your Christmas tree down before it becomes a liability. Even when watered daily, cut Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasingly flammable as they dry out. Dispose of your tree before it becomes a fire hazard. Although tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they’re much more likely to cause serious injuries and damage.

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  9. Install smoke alarms outside of each bedroom and on each level of your home. Test your smoke alarms monthly and replace them according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Have a fire escape plan for each room and make sure family and guests know the plan. Keep a portable fire extinguisher in your kitchen. If you have a fire, leave immediately, and if safe to do so, closing doors behind you to help contain it.

This information is provided for general informational purposes only. Consult fire prevention resources for more information.

1 https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Winter-holidays

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