Nobody wants a house fire for Christmas, but it’s so easy to let the spirit of the season distract us from common sense fire safety practices. Now is the time to brush up on the little things that can keep our families safe during the holidays.
If you have children, or expect children to visit for the holidays, take a tour from a kid’s eye view. Get down at toddler level and you may be surprised at the hidden hazards in your home. A little time and attention at the outset can save a world of regret later.
22 Fire Safety Tips for Christmas
1. If you want a real Christmas tree, choose a fresh one and don’t let it dry out — check the water level every day.
2. Don’t hang on to your tree after it becomes dry and needles begin to fall out.
3. If you have an artificial tree, make sure it’s flame retardant.
4. Place your Christmas tree away from heat sources, including fireplaces, heating vents, and candles.
5. If you use electric lights, make sure they’re tested for safety and note whether they’re for indoor or outdoor use.
6. Inspect lights before you use them. Don’t use electrical decorations that have frayed wiring.
7. Don’t use electrical wires where they can become a tripping hazard.
8. Don’t overload your electrical system.
9. Turn off all electrical decorations when you go to bed at night.
10. Don’t use lighted candles on or near the Christmas tree or other flammable materials.
11. Put candles where they are less likely to be knocked over.
12. Keep candles, matches, and lighters out of reach of children.
13. Hang your stockings by the chimney with care: don’t let them hang too close to a working fireplace.
14. Don’t burn evergreens or commercial gift wrapping in the fireplace — they can spark out of control.
15. Use a fireplace screen and make sure to check the flue.
16. Don’t wear loose or flowing clothing when you’re stoking the fire.
17. Don’t wear loose or flowing clothing when you’re tending the stove.
18. When cooking, don’t let the festivities distract you — never leave cooking unattended.
19. Use extreme caution with outdoor deep fryers typically used for turkey. Make sure it’s not located too close to the house and follow manufacture instructions. Never leave a deep fryer unattended, even for a minute. You can’t use water on a grease fire, so make sure you have an all purpose fire extinguisher (class K) close by.
Make a Fire Safety Plan
20. Make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in working condition.
21. Have at least one fire extinguisher on each level of your home.
22. Make and practice a fire evacuation plan.
Have a safe and happy holiday season.
More Holiday Reading
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Living Christmas Trees: An Eco-Friendly Alternative
16 DIY Holiday Gifts for Everyone on Your List
How To Navigate The Holidays
main post photo: photographer-Li Ding | iStock/Thinkstock
overloaded electrical outlet: photographer/copyright-Jason Smith | iStock/Thinkstock
stockings: photographer-Mike Watson images | moodboard collection/Thinkstock