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Holiday Fire Safety Tips

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year! Full of family, friends, and great food, it is understandable how it is some people’s favorite time of the year. However, decorations, cooking, and the colder weather can create dangers for your home.

The holidays should be a time to enjoy quality time with your family and not worrying about possible home fires. We have some fire safety tips so that you can be proactive this holiday season.

Decorations

Holiday decorations are a great way to make your home feel extra festive! Between the glitter and the flannel, these decorations can be extremely flammable. It is important to keep decorations at a safe distance from sources of heat to prevent a fire from starting or spreading. According to the National Fire Protection Association*, 42% of decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source. It is important to keep this in mind when decorating your home.

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If you are putting up a Christmas tree, make sure to take safety precautions. Place your tree at least 3 feet away from a heat source, including candles, fireplaces, radiators, heating vents, and lights.** When decorating your tree with lights, make sure to use indoor lights that are not broken or too worn.  To help prevent fires, remember to put your trees lights on a timer or turn them off before you go to bed every night. Lastly, avoid placing your tree in front of an exit, that way if there is any emergency your family can exit the home safety.

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Candles

According to the NFPA, more than a third of home decoration fires are started by candles.* Whether candles are used for religious and holiday purposes, like Hanukah or Kwanzaa, or used to fill your home with holiday scents, make sure you take fire safety precautions into consideration.

Keep lit candles away from decorations and other flammable materials. Be sure to never leave an open flame in an unattended room, make sure you completely put out the candle before leaving the room or going to bed. Also, keep children and pets away from candles, and make sure to educate your children on the dangers of fire and how to practice fire safety.

Holiday Cooking

Did you know unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires and the three days with highest amount of kitchen fires involving cooking equipment are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Christmas Eve.*** Make sure someone is always watching when cooking with an open flame or in the oven, never leave your cooking unattended. Be aware of the cords and appliances you are using to prevent any electrical fires.

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Replace Your Alarms and Batteries

The holidays are supposed to be a relaxing time filled with friends, family, and fun. Make sure your family and home are prepared by checking your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. It is so important to test your alarms to make sure the batteries and alarm itself are working. Smoke alarm last around 10 years and carbon monoxide alarms last around 7 years, even hardwired alarms need to be replaced every 7-10 years. Achieve peace of mind during the holidays by checking your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, replacing the alarms or batteries if needed, and practicing fire safety in your everyday actions.

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*National Fire Protection Association, December 2018, https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/Winter_Holiday_Safety.pdf

**National Fire Protection Association, December 2018, https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/ChristmasTreeSafetyTips.pdf

***National Fire Protection Association, December 2018, https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Winter-holiday-safety