Fire Safety for Winter Holidays

Every year, fires during the holiday season cause up to $930 million dollars in property damage. Take extra precautions by following these tips below.

Holiday Decorations

  1. Consider using an artificial tree that is labeled "flame resistant."
  2. Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent.
  3. Evergreens:
    • If you do use an evergreen, water it daily to keep it from drying out.
    • Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.
  4. Lights:
    • Make sure to inspect stringed lights and window ornaments annually for deterioration.
    • Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe.
    • Use lights in their designed areas. Don't use 'indoor' lights outside.
    • Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.
  5. All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents.
  6. Don't burn wrapping paper or boxes in your fireplace.

Smoking

  1. If you have a party with smokers, you should always check between sofa and chair pads because they can drop down and smolder for hours before you even know the fire has started.
  2. Don’t smoke in bed or while sitting in furniture.
  3. Don’t leave burning cigarettes in an ashtray.
  4. Keep lighters and matches out of sight and reach from children
  5. If you smoke outdoors, be sure to take in all ashtrays and cigarette butts so wind does not blow the ashtray contents around your property.
  6. Make sure all butts have be extinguished before emptying the ashtrays.
  7. Updated: 5/2009