Top Three Holiday Dangers - Central County Fire & Rescue

Top Three Holiday Dangers

If used properly, Christmas trees, candles and holiday decorations can all be a joyous part of festive celebrations. If misused, they can each turn into a home fire.

1. Candles

On an average day, candles start 35 home fires. Many of these are sparked when items are placed too close to the burning candle. CCFR recommends using flameless, battery-operated candles.

Candle Safety Tips

  • Blow out candles when you leave the room.
  • Do not use candles in the bedroom, or other places where people may fall asleep.
  • Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.
  • Keep candles on a sturdy surface that at least 1 foot away from anything that can burn.

2. Christmas Trees

A safe Christmas tree starts as soon as you choose one. CCFR recommends using an artificial tree that is labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

  • If using a live tree, choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. Cut at least 1 inch off the bottom of the tree before placing it in a stand.
  • Keep the tree at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, radiators, candles, lights or heating vents.
  • Do not block an exit with a Christmas tree.
  • Keep a live tree well-watered by watering it each day.
  • Remove a live tree from your house as soon as the holidays are over, or when you notice it has become dry.

3. Decorations

Most holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source. All electronic decorations should have the label of an independent testing laboratory.

Decorating Tips

  • Always turn off all decorations before going to bed.
  • Do not use strands of lights with missing bulbs, broken cords or frayed wires.
  • Keep decorations that could block an exit away from windows or doors.
  • Follow all instructions that come with any decorations.
  • Do not run extension cords across doorways or under carpets.
  • Do not string extension cords, or more than three strands of lights together.