Candles and holiday decorations can increase your risk for a house fire. Keep in mind a few simple tips to help you have a safe and happy holiday season.
- Candles are responsible for more than half of the home decoration fires in December.1
- Most home candle fires take place on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.
- Instead of real candles, consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which mimic the look of real candles without the danger.2
- If you do use real candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be knocked down easily.
- Keep candles at least 1 foot away from anything that can burn.3
- Lit candles should not be placed in windows where a fire could start with blinds or curtains.
- Blow out lit candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
- Candles should be out of the reach of children and pets. Young children should never hold a lit candle. Consider providing battery-operated candles for children.
- Adults should watch candles to make sure they’re safely away from flammable materials.
- Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
- Windows and doors should be free of any obstructions such as decorations.
- Nails should not be used to hang lights. Instead, use clips so cords aren’t damaged.4
- Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
- Outdoor electrical lights should be brought inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and keep them in good shape.5
General Fire Safety
- Smoke alarms should be on every level of a home, including outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom.6
- Alarms should be connected for the best protection, so when one sounds, they all sound.
- Test all smoke alarms monthly by pushing the test button to make sure they’re still operational.
- Replace smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
- Plan and practice a home fire escape drill that includes two ways out of every room.
- When entertaining guests, make sure they’re aware of escape routes.
*This post was originally published December 7, 2o20.