Holiday Safety

Fire Prevention Safety for the Holidays

Keep organic Christmas trees watered. This is particularly important when a Christmas tree is purchased well in advance of the holiday. Whether a cut tree or tree for planting, dry trees can be very hazardous. Timely removal of the tree after the holidays will assure drying does not get excessive. If this is an inconvenience a synthetic tree may be a safe alternative.

  • Remember that Christmas trees cut early in the season quickly dry out to become fire hazards.
  • Never put a Christmas tree in front of an exit.
  • Never decorate Christmas trees with candles, even if you do not intend to light them.
  • Never place a Christmas tree near a fireplace. If there is no other place to put it, do not use the fireplace until after the tree has been removed and the needles have been cleaned up.
  • Pets will drink the water, causing the tree to dry out faster if not watered frequently.
Indoor and Outdoor Lighting
  • Only buy Christmas tree lights that have been inspected by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
  • Inspect and test lights each year before putting them on the tree.
  • Continuously check electrical cords and lights for signs of damage. If damaged, replace.
  • Use of damaged electrical cords and lights can cause an electrical short and lead to a fire.
  • Daily checks for signs of cord damage, particularly where foot traffic occurs will lower risk of fire.
  • Pets can damage electrical cords and lights. In the presence of holiday decorations, pets should be supervised.
  • Use only outdoor lights outside your house, do not use lights outside that are intended for indoor use.
  • Never use indoor extension cords outside.
  • Fasten bulbs securely and point sockets down to avoid moisture buildup.
  • Connect no more than three strings together.
  • Never leave religious candles burning unattended.
  • Candle fires are more likely to start in the bedroom.
  • When using candles, keep them a safe distance from combustibles like clothing, books, paper, curtains, Christmas trees or decorations.
  • Place candles on stable furniture in sturdy holders that won't tip over and that are big enough to collect dripping wax.
  • Don't place lit candles in windows, where they may ignite blinds or curtains.
  • Place candles only in areas where they won't be knocked over by children or pets.
  • Don't allow children or teens to have candles in their bedrooms.
  • Never leave candles lit prior to going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year.
  • A dirty fireplace can contribute to the cause chimney fires.
  • Place a tight screen on the fireplace. Ensure it completely covers the fireplace opening.
  • Remove all decorations from the area before starting a fire.
  • Do not burn wrapping paper, garbage or evergreen boughs.
  • Don't overload the fireplace with too many logs.
  • When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace, preferably on a grate.
  • Never leave your fire unattended.
  • Be sure the fire is extinguished before you go to bed.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
  • Keep wood stacked, covered, and out-of-doors, away from the house and off the ground.