Tinsel, gingerbread cookies, pine scented candles, and Christmas trees covered in multicolored lights are staples for the holiday season. But these same decorations may increase the chance of fire during the best time of the year.
When getting your home holiday ready, here’s a few ideas on how to think about safety in-between cookie decorating and ugly sweater parties.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended: Those gingerbread shaped candles that smell like fresh baked cookies are a delight. But it’s important to remember that when you leave the room, the house or go to sleep – extinguish lit candles. Candles are known for starting a large percentage of home decoration fires, and most of these fires happen in December.
- Turn off tree lights, decorations, and portable space heaters: Unplug all of your lights, decorations, and portable space heaters when not in the same room.
- Never throw wrapping paper in the fire: That cozy fireplace where your stockings are hung with care, isn’t the place to toss wrapping paper. Doing so could create a flash fire because wrapping paper can ignite quickly and burn intensely.
- Indoor or outdoor lighting, it makes a difference: Only uses lights tested for safety. This means, place those string lights where recommended. Indoor stays inside, and outdoor lights have been tested for the wear and tear of nature’s changing weather. Before usage check each set of lights for broken or cracked sockets, loose connections, and visible wires.
- Check your smoke detector battery: When was the last time you checked the batteries on your smoke detector? While you’ve got the ladder out to place your ornaments on your tree, this is a good time to check the smoke alarms for the holidays. A working smoke alarm can save lives.
- Artificial or real Christmas trees: Whether real or not, keep your Christmas tree at least three inches away from a heat source. If you have a real tree, make sure to water it daily, a dry tree is dangerous and can burn quickly.