As the holidays approach, we want you to take a few steps to ensure they’re happy, healthy and accident-free.
While candles, holiday lights and Christmas trees make our homes look beautiful this time of year, they can also pose a serious safety risk. According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles start about 8,200 house fires a year, with the number of candle fires increasing in December and January. And the NFPA says Christmas trees are responsible for about 160 house fires each year. Meanwhile, decorations (excluding trees) start about 780 home fires per year.
Here are a few tips from the NFPA to keep your holidays safe:
- Pick a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
- Keep your Christmas tree away from room exits.
- Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
- Water your live Christmas tree daily to keep it from becoming dry. (Check out this video demonstrating just how quickly a dry tree can burn).
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable.
- Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires or excessive wear.
- Don’t link more than three strands of holiday lights.
- Be sure to use indoor lights only indoors — they should be clearly marked.
- Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory, like Underwriters Laboratories.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended. Consider using battery-operated flameless candles.
- Don’t use candles in the bedroom, or anywhere else people can fall asleep.
- Candles should be placed in a sturdy candle holder.
- Place menorahs and kinaras on a sturdy surface away from the edges of tables or counters, and keep away from flammable materials such as tablecloths, centerpieces, drapes, decorations or plants.
- Lit candles should not be placed in windows where a blind or curtain could catch fire. Keep candles at least a foot away from anything that can burn.
- Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
- If a candle must burn continuously, be sure it is enclosed in a glass container and placed in a sink, on a metal tray, or in a deep basin filled with water.
- Never use candles in a home where medical oxygen is used.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season from all of us here at LCA!