As families and friends get together to celebrate the holiday season, it is important that Delawareans consider fire safety as they decorate their homes and entertain guests. During the holidays, residential fires generally increase. Following a few simple tips will help ensure your family has a happy, fire-safe holiday season.
- Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn. Do not use real candles in decorations.
- Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both. Check for proper use.
- Inspect strings of lights for exposed or frayed wires, and loose bulb connections.
- Do not overload extension cords. Never place cords under a rug.
- Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
- Check your smoke alarms. Discuss your home fire escape plan with any overnight guests.
- Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
- Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stove top. Keep children 3 feet away to prevent spills and burns.
- Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.
- Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.
PICKING THE TREE
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
PLACING THE TREE
- Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.
- Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
LIGHTING THE TREE
- Use lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
Please refer to our fact sheet on holiday safety, DSFM Holiday Safety