It’s officially the most wonderful time of year. The holidays are filled with joy, excitement and love. We look forward to shopping for our loved ones, baking goodies and decorating our homes. Fire prevention is important all year long but especially around the holidays.

Here are some exclusive, helpful tips for a safe holiday season from a professional, my firefighter dad!

Extension cords

Extension cords are super helpful especially this time of year with the holidays. When decorating, don’t staple or nail extension cords.

It’s important to keep the cords away from any snow and water as well. Be sure to NEVER overload extension cords.

Remember that we should NEVER use extension cords with space heaters, this is dangerous.  

 
Space heaters

Having combustibles by space heaters is A HUGE NO-NO.

Space heaters produce a lot of energy. When they are hooked up to an extension cord, it’s much easier for them to overheat and potentially cause a fire. Don’t place anything on top of space heaters (nope, not even gloves to dry).

We should NEVER use extension cords with space heaters; they should be plugged in directly to the wall outlet.

 

Christmas trees

Keep your tree (live or artificial) away from fireplaces, heaters and radiators.

 It can be dangerous if live trees remain dry and aren’t watered. If possible, purchase a tree that’s fire retardant. Be sure to turn off and unplug any electrical cords when not in use.

If you have a live tree in your house this season, remember to water it DAILY. 

 

Holiday lights

All of the colorful lights at this time of year are just enchanting! When else can we drive around and look at Christmas lights, I love it. Before hanging up your lights this year, be sure to inspect them for any broken or frayed strands first. Don’t overload a circuit either. It’s important to turn off the lights and decorations before going to sleep or when leaving the house. When decorating outside, use lights that are specific for outdoor use. Using lights that are meant for indoor only on the outside display can cause fire hazards.

As I always say, dad knows best (because I had no idea) purchase ONLY UL-listed lights for inside and outside decorating.

 

Fire places/chimneys

Fireplaces set the ideal mood for any type of cozy night at home. Practice proper fire safety by using dry and well-aged wood. Before lighting the fireplace, clean out the ashes from the previous fire. Smaller pieces of wood create less smoke for the room. Have your chimney checked yearly by a trained professional along with your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Keep the area around the fireplace clear of anything that could become flammable. Items such as couches and chairs, curtains, any cards, magazines and books should be moved away from the fireplace. Remember to never leave the fireplace unattended.

Be sure to crack open a window as well when the fireplace is on and enjoy the night!

 

Candles

These are some tips that I need to remind myself all year long. Blow out any burning candle when you leave the room especially if you have pets. If you have a candle in a room where you may fall asleep, blow that baby out before bed! I have to also remind myself to never burn a candle all the way down (even though it still smells so good). Candles should never be near any combustible items and not too close any other products.

If there is someone in your home using oxygen, NEVER burn a candle.

 

Generators

During inclement weather, generators come in handy. If you need to refuel your generator, be sure to turn it off and let it cool before restarting again. Keeping gas outside and away from any living spaces is key to fire prevention for generators. Make sure that you use the appropriate outdoor only, extension cord with the generator and one that is long enough is away from any living space.

Remember to never plug generators directly into a wall unit. Never run a generator inside of a space, not even basements or garages. Generators produce CO, carbon monoxide which you can’t see or smell. Having a fire extinguisher on deck is a good idea.

On that note, make sure that your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in good, working condition. Have a happy, healthy and safe holiday season! :)