Holiday lights and decorations

Each year fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of over 400 Americans, injure 1,650 more and cause over $990 million in damage, according to the United States Fire Administration.

Ensure a safer and happier holiday by following some precautionary tips.

Holiday lighting

Holiday lightsHoliday lights and other decorative lighting with line voltage are involved with an estimated 170 home fires every year according to the National Fire Protection Association. These fires also cause an average of seven deaths, 17 injuries and almost $8 million in direct property damage. Help ensure a joyful winter holiday season when using decorative lights by:

  • Using lights that have the mark of an independent testing lab.
  • Using lights as they are intended – indoor lights indoors.
  • Unplugging lights before sleeping or leaving home.
  • Discarding lights with cracked sockets or frayed cords – these problems can cause an electric shock or fire.
  • Never overloading electrical outlets.
  • Following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Remembering that many decorative lights are temporary – not intended for long term use.
  • Checking your home’s smoke alarms by pressing the test button and replacing any alarm that is 10 years of age or older.

Candle with care

Avoid using lit candles. If you do use them, remember to:

  • Burn candles inside a three-foot "circle of safety", free of anything than can burn, such as curtains, furniture, blankets, papers and clothing.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Use a sturdy metal, glass or ceramic candleholder.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended - always make sure a grown up is in the room with the candle.
  • Extinguish candles when leaving the room.
  • Put candles out before going to bed or sleeping.

Holiday decorations

Use only decorations that are nonflammable or flame retardant and keep away from heat sources like heating vents, candles, fireplaces, smoking materials, etc.

And, install and maintain smoke alarms in your home.