While many of us enjoy decorating for the winter holidays, these decorations can increase the risk of having a home fire. One in every four Christmas tree fires is caused by a heat source too close to the tree. More than one in three home decoration fires are started by candles. The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. With the holidays around the corner, our next set of home fire prevention tips is on holiday fire safety:
- Inspect holiday lights each year before you put them up. Throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires.
- Turn off all your holiday lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
- Water your Christmas tree every day. A dry tree is dangerous because it can catch on fire easily.
- Keep your tree at least three feet away from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles and heat vents.
- Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
- If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be knocked down easily.
- Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns.
Learn more about fire prevention from the U.S. Fire Administration at www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention.