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Celebrate the Holidays Safely

Sep 27, 2017, 10:50 AM

The kids are back to school and the holidays are around the corner. It’s an exciting time to gather with family and friends. Unfortunately, holiday festivities can present unique fire hazards. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more residential fires happen during the colder months than any other time of year, primarily caused by cooking, heating and electrical malfunctions.

Don’t let a fire ruin your holiday! Stay safe with these simple tips:

  1. Cook with Care

Remain in the kitchen when you’re cooking and keep pan lids close by so that if a fire starts in the pan you can quickly cover it with the lid and smother the flame. Remember to turn off the burners and the oven when you’re done.

  1. Pay Attention to Indoor Decorations

Be sure to test your lights and cords, and replace anything faulty. Hang indoor lights with clips instead of nails, and never use decorations inside that were intended for outdoor use only. Place Christmas trees or plants at least three feet away from heat sources, turn off decorative lights when not at home or sleeping, and remember to water live trees. Be careful to keep burning candles away from children, and remember to always extinguish them before leaving the room or going to sleep.

  1. Use Outdoor Light Displays Responsibly

When decorating outside, only use electrical decorations and cords manufactured for outdoor use. Keep them away from snow or standing water and avoid pinching them in doors or windows, which could damage their insulation.

  1. Don’t Forget Fire Starting Materials

Keep lighters, matches, etc. away from children. Make sure guests who smoke go outside and properly dispose of cigarette butts and ashes (e.g., dampening cigarette butts before throwing them in the trash.)

Exercise caution if you use a fireplace:

  • Have your chimney inspected prior to use.
  • Only burn dry firewood.
  • Never hang decorations in front of a working fireplace.

You are key to your family’s safety.

Although fire safety is serious, you can make it easy to talk about. Visit to learn more.


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