Holiday Safety: Christmas and Hanukah

The Winter holiday season is a festive time of year. Family gatherings and decorations are hallmarks of the season. Holiday safety should be part of our planning when preparing for these festive days.

Here are a few suggestions to help you be safe during the holidays.

Before the season begins

  • Test your smoke detectors.
  • Clean the oven and stove.
  • Keep kitchen clutter away from the stove and oven.
  • Be careful using matches and candles. Candles should be made of flame retardant materials.
  • Clothing can catch fire around candles, matches, fireplaces and stoves (both electric and gas). Avoid loose, flammable clothing.
  • Keep decorations away from sources of heat such as open flames, electric heaters and exposed electric bulbs.
  • Don't overload electric outlets. Inspect electrical cords and light sets. If in doubt - throw them out.

Holiday Trees

  • Do not use candles on or near the tree.
  • Place the tree away from heat sources, such as fireplaces and heaters.
  • Keep your Christmas tree in a sturdy base filled with water. Check the water level daily.
  • Consider spraying your tree with a flame retardant.
  • Safely dispose of your tree before it becomes dangerously dry. Never burn the tree or tree parts in your fireplace.

Holiday Lights

  • Use UL approved lights.
  • Examine all indoor and outdoor lights for frayed cords - replace if necessary.
  • Never use lights that have an empty socket.
  • Lights should not touch combustible materials.
  • “Indoor” lights should never be used outdoors.
  • Turn off all Christmas lights, prior to leaving your home or going to bed.
  • Mini lights are safest because they produce less heat.
  • Avoid using extension cords, but if you do follow instructions carefully.
  • Do not overload electrical circuits, such as wall outlets and extension cords, use a circuit strip.

Holiday Gift Wrap

  • Keep combustible materials away from heat sources.
  • Never burn wrappings in your fireplace.