Holiday Hazard

Celebrating Safe And Sound

Before you make merry, make sure you know how to keep yourself and your family safe during the holidays. Follow the tips below for a brighter (watch those candles!) holiday season.

Fire Safety

Holidays are usually filled with more cooking, home decorating, and entertaining—not to mention an increased risk of fire. To protect yourself and your family, follow these safety tips:

 Holiday Decorating and Lighting

  • Choose decorations made of flame-resistant, flame-retardant or non-combustible materials when possible.
  • Keep candles away from decorations and Christmas trees.
  • Before plugging in lights, check for damage.
  • Don’t overload extension cords.
  • Don’t pierce light string cords with clips or nails when hanging.
  • Keep children and pets away from electrical decorations.
  • Make sure to turn off light strings and decorations and blow out candles before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Make sure live greenery is fresh. Keep dried out trees and garland away 
from open flames.


 Holiday Entertaining

  • Keep an eye on the stove and oven while chatting with visitors.
  • Ask visitors to smoke outside and use ashtrays.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • Place candles on non-flammable surfaces and away from drafts.
  • Don’t keep candles burning for more than a few hours at a time.
  • Test your smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms before any gathering.
  • Let guests know what your fire escape plan is.

 Holiday Heating

  • Make sure any space heater you buy carries the mark of an independent testing lab 
(look for a tag or sticker).
  • Maintain a 36-inch clearance between space heaters and anything flammable.
  • Turn off space heaters when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Make sure the flue is open before starting a fire in the fireplace.
  • Have solid-fueled heating equipment inspected annually by a professional.
  • Use seasoned wood to reduce sap build-up in your chimney.
  • Use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room.
  • Place fireplace and woodstove ashes in a metal container.
  • Test smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms monthly.

  Fireworks Safety Tips:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Be aware whether your county has a burn ban in place before using fireworks.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging, as this can often be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Adults should always supervise fireworks activities. Parents often don’t realize that there are many injuries from sparklers to children under five. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move back to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light one item at a time then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks fully complete their functioning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.