The holidays bring about some of the most joyful winter festivities. However, some holiday traditions like cooking and baking in large quantities, decorating with lights, enjoying fireplaces, and burning candles can increase the risk of fire. You can help keep your holiday season as festive and bright as possible by maintaining a mindfulness about fire safety. 

Read on for the easy, life-saving steps you can take to protect your home and loved ones this holiday season.

Top Holiday Fire Safety Tips

1. Double Check the Fire Safety Basics

• Test your fire alarms
• Test your carbon monoxide detectors
• Check that your fire extinguishers haven't expired
• Teach family members about your home’s fire safety devices

2. Maintain Mindfulness While Cooking

• Avoid leaving the kitchen unattended
• Set cooking timers
• Ensure children are supervised at all times in the kitchen
• Avoid using too many appliances at the same time
• Keep a fire extinguisher in a visible and handy location in the kitchen

3. Be Conservative with Lighting Displays

• Avoid overloading electrical circuits
• Check all light cords and sockets for signs of fraying, cracking or other wear
• Don’t connect more than three light strings together
• Avoid hanging lights with staples or other material that can damage cords
• Turn off lights and decorations before going to bed
• Turn off lights and decorations before leaving the house

4. Reconsider Using Candles

• Consider the risk vs. the reward. Candles are responsible for 2 in every 5 home fires. The top 3 days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s and Christmas Eve.
• Consider a flameless alternative, such as LED light candles
• Never leave the room in which a candle is burning
• Keep candles far away from any potentially flammable items / decor

5. Prepare the Fireplace

• Get a professional fireplace inspection and chimney sweep annually
• Keep the fireplace clean and clear of debris
• Make sure the damper is fully open before lighting a fire
• Use a fireplace screen
• Burn only wood in a fireplace
• Ensure all embers are completely extinguished before leaving the fireplace unattended

6. Use Space Heaters Responsibly

• Do not use space heaters with an extension cord
• Use space heaters only for temporary purposes
• Read the manufacturer safety instructions
• Avoid use near a Christmas tree

7. Avoid a Dry Christmas Tree (if you have one)

• Water Christmas trees daily
• Discard any dried out trees immediately
• Keep Christmas trees away from all heat sources
• Consider artificial alternatives
• Take steps to protect children and pets from knocking over Christmas trees