Holiday Safety Tips - Central County Fire & Rescue

Holiday Safety Tips

Keep your home festive and fire-free this holiday season with these safety reminders.


December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. We encourage the use of flameless, battery-operated candles instead of real ones.

If you do use real candles:

  • Always blow them out when you leave the room.
  • Keep them on a sturdy surface at least 1 foot from anything that can ignite.
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn. Advent or Hanukkah candles placed near window curtains is a common cause of home fires.
  • Never use candles in the bedroom or other places where people might fall asleep.
  • Keep an eye on kids and pets when candles are in use.


Your decorations aren’t the only fire hazard lurking in your holiday festivities! Cooking is another leading cause of holiday fires, when many home kitchens are busier than usual. Keep your holiday feast from going up in smoke with these kitchen fire prevention tips:

  • Unattended cooking is the leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire injuries, with most cooking fires involving the stovetop. Stay in the kitchen, and use timers to remind you to check on food regularly while cooking.
  • Create a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food and drinks are prepared or carried.
  • If you have a cooking fire, just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately after you leave.
  • If you do try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and that you have access to an exit.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Slide the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

Gift Wrap

Finally, what to do with all that gift wrap. Hint: Don’t burn it! Throw it out (or recycle it) instead. Certain dyes in the paper can let off toxic gases when burned, or the paper can float up into your chimney where it can start a fire.