Holiday Fire Hazards

From candles to Christmas trees, blinking outdoor lights to backyard bonfires, hanging stockings to Hoverboards, the holiday season is one big fire hazard.

Protect yourself and your family from a fire by exercising caution and being vigilant.

Prevention of Holiday Fire Hazards

Discard trees within one month after purchase, and take it to a tree recycling center or have it hauled away by a community waste removal service.  Under no circumstances should you burn your tree indoors as firs and pines have lots of sap, which can explode.

Wrapping paper is very flammable, burning very hot with large flames, so never burn it in the fireplace or wood stove.  Some gift wrap contains material that can throw off dangerous sparks and/or cause a dangerous chemical buildup in the air of your house.  After gifts are opened, quickly and safely discard wrapping paper and packaging.

Remove outdoor lights as soon as the season is over; they are not designed for prolonged exposure to the elements, especially in winter weather. Careful handling when you’re taking them down and repacking will reduce the chances of damaging a good set of lights.

holiday fire hazardsCandles other than jar candles must be used in an appropriate non-tipping, non-flammable holder. Make sure that candle containers and holders are made from tempered glass or have a proper glaze. All candles should be placed on a safe, heat-resistant dry surface. If possible, place glass chimneys or shades over them.

For Christmas luminarias, use 15-hour votive candles in holders, placed in paper bags filled with at least 2″ of sand. The candle must be of a size to allow adequate space between the candle and bag so as not to ignite the bag.

In the event of a house fire, survival can depend on your preparation, being alert, and having a well-rehearsed escape plan. Chapman Insurance has provided a few basic fire safety and prevention tips to consider while safeguarding your home and yourself.

Be Prepared

  • Install smoke alarms outside bedrooms on each level of your home.
    – Make sure they are located away from air vents.
  • Test the alarms regularly and change batteries at least once a year.
    – Never disable or remove smoke alarm batteries.
  • Develop a fire escape plan and practice with small children.
  • Review all ways to exit each room of the house.
  • Make sure safety bars on windows can be opened from inside your home.
  • Escape the dwelling first and call for emergency assistance.

General Fire Prevention Measures

  • Replace space heaters with central heat.
  • When cooking never leave the kitchen unattended.
  • Keep flammables and combustibles away from stove burners and other heat sources.
  • Turn off all appliances before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Never overload an electrical socket.
  • Don’t use appliances with frayed cords or wires.
  • Never leave burning items unattended. For example: cigarettes, candles or fire places.
  • Keep up with chimney cleaning maintenance and use metal mesh screen while fire is burning.
  • Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.