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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Safeguarding the Season: Common Holiday Fire Hazards and How to Protect Your Home

11/25/2023 (Permalink)

Results of severe interior fire damage Interior fire damage

As the holiday season approaches, the joy and warmth of celebrations fill our hearts and homes. However, amidst the festivities, it's essential to remain vigilant and take measures to protect your home from common holiday fire hazards. In this blog post, SERVPRO shares insights into these potential risks and offers valuable tips to ensure a safe and joyful holiday season.

1. Decorative Lights and Electrical Safety:

Twinkling holiday lights and decorative displays are beloved features of the season. However, they can pose fire hazards if not handled with care:

  • Inspect Lights: Before adorning your home, carefully inspect all holiday lights, extension cords, and electrical decorations for signs of damage, frayed wires, or loose connections.
  • Outdoor Lights: Only use lights and extension cords specifically rated for outdoor use for your exterior decorations.
  • Overloading Outlets: Avoid overloading electrical outlets and power strips with too many decorations, as this can lead to overheating and fires.
  • Turn Off Lights: Remember to turn off decorative lights and unplug them when you go to bed or leave your home.

2. Candles and Open Flames:

Candles create a cozy ambiance but require caution to prevent fires:

  • Safe Placement: Place candles on stable, heat-resistant surfaces, away from flammable materials such as curtains, decorations, or paper.
  • Never Leave Unattended: Never leave lit candles unattended, and extinguish them before leaving a room or going to bed.
  • Consider Alternatives: Consider using flameless LED candles as a safer alternative to traditional candles, especially if you have pets or young children.

3. Christmas Trees and Decorations:

Whether real or artificial, Christmas trees and decorations can become fire hazards:

  • Water Your Tree: Keep your real Christmas tree well-watered throughout the season, as dry trees are more prone to catching fire.
  • Flame-Resistant Decorations: Ensure that artificial trees and decorations are labeled as flame-resistant or flame-retardant.
  • Placement Matters: Place trees and decorations away from heat sources like radiators, fireplaces, and candles.

4. Cooking Safety:

The holiday season often involves elaborate feasts, but cooking-related fires are common:

  • Stay in the Kitchen: Never leave the kitchen unattended while cooking, especially when using stovetops and ovens.
  • Keep Flammable Items Away: Keep flammable items like kitchen towels, oven mitts, and paper towels away from heat sources.
  • Timers and Monitoring: Use timers to remind you when dishes are done, and regularly check on food while cooking.
  • Fire Extinguisher: Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and know how to use it.

5. Fireplaces and Space Heaters:

As temperatures drop, many turn to fireplaces and space heaters for warmth:

  • Fireplace Safety: Use a sturdy screen or glass door to contain sparks and embers from your fireplace.
  • Space Heater Precautions: Ensure that space heaters have proper safety features, such as tip-over switches and automatic shut-offs.
  • Clear Surroundings: Keep flammable materials, including furniture and decorations, a safe distance away from heaters.

6. Outdoor Lighting and Decorations:

Outdoor decorations can also present fire hazards:

  • Use Outdoor-Rated Equipment: Use outdoor-rated extension cords and lighting for exterior decorations.
  • Prevent Tripping Hazards: Keep decorations and extension cords clear of walkways to prevent tripping hazards.
  • Secure Decorations: Ensure outdoor decorations are securely anchored and won't come into contact with power lines.


By remaining aware of these common holiday fire hazards and taking preventive measures, you can ensure a safe and joyous holiday season for you and your loved ones. At SERVPRO, we prioritize your safety and well-being, and we're here to support you in preserving the festive spirit while keeping your home secure. Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season!

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