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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Safeguarding Your Home: Avoiding Common Fire Hazards During the Holiday Season

12/4/2023 (Permalink)

The results of interior fire damage Interior fire damage

The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, but it also brings an increased risk of home fires. From festive decorations to cooking feasts, there are several common fire hazards that homeowners should be aware of to keep their families and homes safe. In this blog post, SERVPRO discusses these potential hazards and provides tips on how to avoid them during the holiday season.

1. Decorative Lights and Candles:

String lights and candles can create a warm and cozy holiday atmosphere, but they are also common causes of fires. To avoid accidents:

  • Inspect lights for frayed wires or damaged sockets before use.
  • Use LED or flameless candles as safer alternatives to traditional candles.
  • Keep lit candles away from flammable materials and never leave them unattended.

2. Overloaded Electrical Outlets:

With additional lights and decorations, it's easy to overload electrical outlets, which can lead to overheating and fires. To prevent this:

  • Avoid daisy-chaining multiple extension cords.
  • Use power strips with surge protectors to safely accommodate extra plugs.
  • Unplug decorations when not in use or when you leave home.

3. Christmas Trees:

Real and artificial Christmas trees can pose fire risks if not handled correctly:

  • Keep live trees well-watered to prevent them from drying out and becoming flammable.
  • Position trees away from heat sources, like radiators or fireplaces.
  • Consider using flame-retardant artificial trees.

4. Cooking Mishaps:

Holiday feasts can be a source of kitchen fires, especially when multiple dishes are being prepared simultaneously:

  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Keep flammable items, like kitchen towels and oven mitts, away from stovetops.
  • Ensure smoke alarms are working properly.

5. Space Heaters:

As temperatures drop, space heaters become more common, but they should be used with caution:

  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from flammable materials.
  • Turn off heaters when leaving a room or going to bed.
  • Only use heaters in well-ventilated areas.

6. Fireplace Safety:

Using the fireplace for warmth and ambiance is a holiday tradition, but it can lead to accidents:

  • Have your chimney cleaned and inspected before lighting the first fire of the season.
  • Use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from escaping.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.

7. Smoking Materials:

If you or your guests smoke, be mindful of where you dispose of cigarette butts and matches:

  • Provide designated smoking areas away from flammable materials.
  • Use sturdy, deep ashtrays.
  • Ensure cigarette butts are fully extinguished before disposal.

8. Fire Safety Equipment:

Make sure your home is equipped with functioning smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Test your smoke detectors regularly and replace their batteries if needed. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguishers and replace them if they are no longer effective.


By staying vigilant and taking precautions, you can enjoy a safe and joyful holiday season with your loved ones. Remember that fire safety is a collective effort, and everyone in your household should be aware of these common fire hazards and the steps to prevent them. If an unfortunate fire incident does occur, SERVPRO is here to assist you with fire damage restoration, ensuring your home is on its way to recovery.

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