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Preventing Holiday House Fires

Decorated Christmas Tree with Presents and Fireplace

The holidays are a time for relaxing and enjoying the company of good friends and family. Unfortunately, a house fire can quickly dampen the festive spirit. Stay safe with these tips for preventing holiday house fires.

Christmas Trees

About 170 Christmas tree fires start in the US every holiday season. When flames ignite in or spread to a Christmas tree, whether real or artificial, they can grow incredibly quickly. Here are some suggestions to keep your home and family safe:

  • Place your Christmas tree at least three feet away from sources of heat, including fireplaces, air vents, radiators, candles and electrical outlets.
  • Make sure the tree doesn’t block an exit.
  • Water real trees daily to prevent them from drying out.
  • Decorate the tree with UL-listed holiday lights. Replace any strands that have loose bulbs or worn out cords.
  • Turn off Christmas tree lights when you leave home or go to sleep.
  • Once Christmas is over, dispose of your real tree promptly. Dried out trees should not be stored in the home or garage for an extended time.

Holiday Decorations

An average of 800 home fires break out each year because of holiday décor, excluding Christmas trees. Candles are the leading cause of holiday decoration fires. Here’s how to stay safe:

  • Choose flame-resistant decorations.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights on the house.
  • Confirm that the lights you use are approved for indoor or outdoor use, depending on the application you have in mind.
  • Keep lit candles at least 12 inches away from combustible objects, including Christmas tree branches.
  • Place candles on a sturdy, uncluttered surface where they’re unlikely to be bumped.
  • Blow out candles and turn off all strings of lights and other electrical decorations before leaving home or going to bed.

Holiday Cooking

Other than Thanksgiving, the most common days for cooking fires to break out are Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Here’s how to prepare holiday meals safely:

  • Test your smoke detectors before you start cooking.
  • Stay in the kitchen while food is toasting, grilling or broiling.
  • Set a timer to remind yourself when the food is done cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – including hot pads, towels, food packaging and holiday decorations – away from the oven and stovetop.

Fireworks

One in 10 firework fires occurs between December 30 and January 3. Ring in the new year safely with these tips:

  • Carefully follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Light fireworks away from people, animals, trees, buildings and power lines.
  • Never let children light or set off fireworks.
  • Keep pets inside while celebrating with fireworks.

Stay safe and enjoy a fun-filled holiday season with your family and friends! If you need fast, reliable help recovering from a holiday house fire, please call DKI Services at 877-533-0210 and request our fire damage restoration services.