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How to Prevent Holiday Fires

This time of the year brings on a new feeling. A feeling of the holiday spirit! Be sure not to forget the dangers that are too often found during this season. Be sure to check with your home or renters insurance agent that your personal property and liability are adequately protected. You should perform a household inventory as soon as possible and take pictures of anything pricey. Keep these tips in mind to help prevent household fires:

Christmas Trees

Many artificial Christmas trees are flame retardant/fire resistant, however be sure to check its box or guides to be sure!

  • When selecting a tree, a fresh tree is critical!
  • Make sure the needles are green and that they don’t break.
  • The fresher the needles, the harder they are to pull off the branches.
  • The truck is sticky on fresh trees.
  • If the needles are falling off, then keep looking!

Keep the tree away from all heat sources such as fire places, space heaters, heating vents etc. Heat causes the tree to dry out, and it could create a fire hazard. It can be quickly ignited by heat or sparks. Keep the tree filled with water and your tree becomes a lesser fire risk! Be sure to check the water daily.

Decorative Lights

Be sure to read the label and only use lights where they have been designed to be, indoors or outdoors.

  • Inspect the wires – they should be clean, and not frayed or cracked. No loose connections should be found.
  • Use a maximum of three light sets per each extension cord unless otherwise indicted on the packaging.
  • Do not turn the holiday lights on if you won’t be home, especially turn them off when you go to bed. Better safe than sorry!
  • Fasten lights securely outside to prevent wind damage, but it is best not to use nails or staples. They can damage the wires. Opt for UL-rated clips and hangers.


Your fireplace should be inspected and cleaned as the soot can harden and become flammable. Make sure the flue is open before you light any fires. A screen should be placed in front of a burning fire at all times!

And of course keep all matches, lighters and candles out of reach from children! Have a safe and great holiday season!


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