With the joys of the holiday season can also come fire-safety risks. We share the following tips to help keep your family and home safe during the winter holidays and beyond.
Indoor Christmas lights:
- Be sure the lights are rated for indoor use and look for Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) or other recognized independent testing laboratory designations on the label.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords – and don’t connect more than three sets of lights into one extension cord.
- Turn off all lights and electric-powered decorations before going to bed.
- Protect cords so pets can’t chew them.
Outdoor Christmas lights:
- Make sure these are also rated accordingly – approved for outdoor use.
- Use weather-resistant outdoor electrical cords.
- Don’t attach lights with nails or staples.
Christmas tree safety:
- Never use flame-lit candles on a Christmas tree.
- Make sure your artificial Christmas tree is fire-retardant.
- Keep live trees watered sufficiently – and select a live tree that is fresh and its needles are not dry.
- Keep all trees at least three feet away from any heat source.
- Don’t burn candles near trees or greenery. Consider using battery-operated candles instead.
- Make sure the candle is sturdy and can’t be easily knocked over.
- Extinguish all candles before going to bed.
- Inspect all holiday lights for frayed wiring, loose connections, broken bulbs and other signs of wear and tear.
- Have a fire escape plan and be sure all members of the home are aware of it.
- Make sure all smoke alarms are working.
- Have your fireplace inspected regularly – and keep it cleaned after use.
- Keep matches out of the reach of children.