Secrets to Holiday Fire Safety
Holiday decorations and crackling fires help make a happy and festive holiday season. Careful use of decorations and simple precautions can help ensure a SAFE holiday! Keep reading below to find some tips and tricks to prevent a holiday fire disaster.
Christmas Trees- The dryer the tree, the greater the fire hazard.
Follow these simple steps to help minimize the risk of fire:
- Recut the trunk at least two inches above the old cut, this allows it to continue to pull moisture into its foliage.
- Keep the trunk in water after it is recut.
- Check the water levels daily; never allow the water level go below the bottom of the trunk.
- Shedding of excessive needles indicates a dry tree.
- Commercial floral preservatives can be added to the water to help keep the tree fresh.
- If holiday distractions mean watering will slip your mind, consider investing in an artificial tree or try an automatic watering system.
Lights and Decorations
- Choose only decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Use lights that have a UL seal, which certifies durability and safety.
- LED lights produce almost no heat, making them safe to touch and reducing the risk of fire.
- Use indoor lights inside and outdoor lights outside.
- Keep decorations away from heat sources.
- Check for frayed wires, broken bulbs, sockets, and loose connections
- Do not attempt to repair worn electrical cords
- Do not link more than three light strands
- Do not overload electrical outlets, use as few power cords as possible
- The larger a bulb is, the more heat it will generate. Inspect surfaces after your first light up to monitor for possible heat damage to gutters and surfaces.
- Unplug lights at bedtime
Facts about home holiday fires
- Annually, $2,091,000,000 in property loss occurs from winter home fires
- One of every three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems
- A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every six of Christmas tree fires
- December is the peak time of year for home candle fires – as a result, 11% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year
Source: National Fire Incident Reporting System 2009-2011