Holiday Fire Safety Tips
Our holiday traditions can increase the risk of home fire. Learn how to stay safe while you celebrate.
Cooking and Baking
No holiday celebration would be complete without a feast, but be sure to take precautions against kitchen fires when you’re cooking and baking. That includes keeping children and flammable items such as grocery bags and kitchen towels away from the stove and oven. Clean up greasy spills as you go to remove another fire hazard. If you’re deep frying a turkey, keep the fryer well away from structures and trees, make sure your turkey is fully thawed, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your fryer.
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Old fashioned Christmas celebrations featured wax candles on live tree branches – inside homes! Today we know better, but risks still remain. If your family prefers real trees, be sure to water yours every day because dry needles and wood catch fire more easily. Go ahead and use many strings of light, but don’t plug more than 3 strings into each other (opt for a power strip instead). Discard light strings that are worn or broken. And be sure to always unplug the lights before leaving the house or going to sleep.
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Menorah or Kinara
Nothing takes the chill off winter holidays like the light and heat of a fire on your hearth. Just be sure to keep “fuel” – from wrapping paper to rugs to clothing – at least three feet away from the flames. Use a fire screen to keep embers and logs from escaping. Lastly, make sure all embers are fully extinguished before you turn in for the night.
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We usually talk about firework safety for the Fourth of July, but many New Year celebrations also include fireworks. If you’ll be setting off fireworks at home, choose a location away from buildings and trees. Be sure your spectators, including children and pets, stay well back. Keep a supply of water or fire extinguisher at hand. If you live in an area that’s experiencing a drought, consider cancelling the show this year – a stray spark that lands on dry grass or leaves can lead to a wildfire.
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