Christmas Fire Safety Tips For Your Hunterdon County Home
As the holiday season is in full swing, so are holiday fires. While Christmas trees and decorations make the season bright and cheerful, they can also pose a significant fire hazard to your home when fire safety is disregarded. To help prevent winter holiday fires in your New Jersey home in 2020, we've put together a list of Christmas decoration fire safety tips.
Christmas Holiday Fire Safety Tips
On average, fire departments respond to 160 Christmas tree fires each year. Out of these fires, electrical distribution (extension cords or power strips) and lighting equipment were involved 44% of the time. About three quarters of these Christmas tree fires occurred in December or January (NFPA).
To help prevent holiday fires started by Christmas trees, follow these tips:
- When choosing a real tree, pick one that has fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
- Make sure Christmas trees are at least three feet away from heat sources, fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights.
- If using a real tree, make sure to water it daily to keep it moist and lower the risk of a fire.
- Make sure the light strands on your tree are graded for indoor use.
- If your tree lights are worn or have broken cords, purchase new ones to avoid an electrical fire.
- Always turn off your Christmas tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
- Don't leave the tree up too long after Christmas - The older and dryer it gets, the higher the risk of a fire is.
To help prevent a fire stemming from your Christmas tree, you want to make sure it stays fresh, moist and watered, far from any objects that could light it on fire.
Holiday decorations are a larger culprit of home holiday fires, with an estimated 780 home fires beginning from decorations each year. Almost half of these fires were caused by decorations being placed too close to a heat source.
To prevent holiday fires started by Christmas decorations, follow these tips:
- Try and purchase decorations that are labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Use clips rather than nails to hang any holiday lights.
- Turn off any electrical decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
- Make sure to not use outdoor lights for inside.
- Be sure that your fire alarms are working in case a decoration catches fire.
Holiday Candle Fires
Did you know that more than half of all home decoration fires in the month of December are started by candles? And the top days for home candle fires are Christmas Day, New Year's Day, and New Year's Eve? (FEMA) The holidays are the top times for candle use, but also the top time for candle fires.
You can help prevent holiday candle fires by following these fire safety tips:
- Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.
- Keep candles out of reach of children or animals, who can accidentally knock them over and start a fire.
- Do not decorate your Christmas tree with candles.
- Do not leave any candles burning unattended.
- Consider buying some battery powered candles to help lessen the likelihood of a fire.
- Make sure candles have sturdy candle holders so that they cannot fall over.
SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County hopes that all of those in New Jersey have a safe, healthy, wonderful holiday season.