Fire Safe Holidays
By Public Information Officer Clay Myers
December 1, 2020

With continuing restrictions due to COVID, this holiday season may look different than in years past. You and your family may put up more holiday decorations to lift your spirits.

The winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. It’s fun to decorate for the winter holidays, but holiday decorations can increase your risk for a home fire. As you deck the halls this season, be "fire smart" and remember to decorate safely.

Following a few simple tips can help make your holidays fire-safe:

•Water your live Christmas tree every day. A dry tree is a fire hazard. Trees too close to a heat source cause 1 in every 4 winter fires.
•Make sure you are using the right lights. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both. Do not use indoor lights outside.
•Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
•Choose holiday decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
•Keep lit candles away from decorations and things that can burn. More than 1/3 of home decoration fires are started by candles. Consider using flameless candles... they look remarkably similar and are safer.
•Blow out lit candles and turn off all light strings and decorations when leaving the room or going to bed.
•Make sure your decorations don’t block windows and doors.

Home fire fatalities increase during the winter. To make sure everyone knows about the increased risk, the United States Fire Administration (USFA) has partnered with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires.” This initiative focuses on hazards that may increase a family’s risk of having a house fire.

Cooking safety wasn’t only the focus for Fire Prevention Week, but a great focus throughout the holidays. Stay in the kitchen when cooking at high temperatures and set a timer when you have food in the oven. Preparing ahead of time can help firefighters stay home for the holidays.

You can follow the “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires” by following #winterfiresafety.