Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to gather. But that also means a greater risk for fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than a third of home decoration fires are started by candles, and 42 percent of decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source. Ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season for you and your family by following a few simple tips.
- Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
- Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
- Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
- Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
- Blow out lit candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
- Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
- Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
- Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
- Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.