Holiday Safety

The winter holidays are a time for celebration, and that means more cooking, home decorating, entertaining, and an increased risk of fire due to heating equipment.

Holiday Decorating & Lighting
  • Use caution with holiday decorations and whenever possible, choose those made with flame-resistant, flame-retardant or non-combustible materials.
  • Keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials, and do not use candles to decorate Christmas trees.
  • Purchase only lights and electrical decorations bearing the name of an independent testing lab, and follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation and maintenance.
  • Carefully inspect new and previously used light strings and replace damaged items before plugging lights in. Do not overload extension cords.
  • Always unplug lights before replacing light bulbs or fuses.
  • Don't mount lights in any way that can damage the cord's wire insulation (i.e., using clips, not nails).
  • Keep children and pets away from light strings and electrical decorations.
  • Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving the house or going to bed.
Holiday Entertaining
  • Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. When cooking for holiday visitors, remember to keep an eye on the range.
  • Provide plenty of large, deep ashtrays and check them frequently. Cigarette butts can smolder in the trash and cause a fire, so completely douse cigarette butts with water before discarding, or flush them down the toilet.
  • After a party, always check on, between and under upholstery and cushions and inside trash cans for cigarette butts that may be smoldering.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of sight and reach of children (preferably in a locked cabinet). When smokers visit your home, ask them to keep their smoking materials away from young children.