Stay Protected this Holiday Season: Fire Safety Tips for the Home

light-562557_640The holiday season is upon us! It is a time for family and celebration, and unfortunately, it’s also the time of year when the most house fires occur. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage. Follow these fire-preventative tips and tricks to prepare and protect your home for the holidays.

Know your family’s emergency evacuation plan.

Every family should have an emergency evacuation plan in case of a fire. If you are visiting a relative’s house, make sure that you know their plan. An emergency evacuation plan should not only include multiple fast, safe ways to exit a house, but also a meeting point a safe distance away from the house where all the family members can find each other easily.

Don’t over-decorate.

In the season of extravagance, it seems as though we need to cover every available surface in lights and decorations, but there is such a thing as “too much” holiday cheer. For example, the National Fire Protection Agency recommends that no more than 3 strands of light be connected together at any one time. The wires should never be warm to the touch – if they are it’s time to replace them.

Conserve power.

Always unplug holiday lights and other decorations before leaving home or going to bed. If you are away or asleep, you won’t be benefitting from the beauty of the lights, and shutting them off will prevent potential fires and will save you money on your energy bill! There is also the option of only turning on part of your decorations at any one time so that you can switch them up and keep your holiday display fresh and interesting!

christmas catKeep an eye on pets and other potential hazards.

Yes, we know it’s adorable when the kitten climbs up the holiday tree or wreath and is mesmerized by the ornaments. However, left unsupervised an animal could be a major fire hazard if they were to knock the tree over or even drink all of the tree’s water. Other potential fire hazards include, but are not limited to:

  • Candles
  • Fireplaces
  • Radiators
  • Heat vents
  • Cigarettes
  • Faulty electrical wires

It is also important to note that wrapping paper and dry tree branches should not be burned in the fireplace. They burn extremely fast and can throw off sparks and debris that become fire hazards.

Take Care of your Christmas tree.

If your family is debating what type of Christmas tree to buy, first consider getting a plastic tree for your family. They require a lot less maintenance and cost a lot less. If live trees are more your style, make sure to take proper care of the tree. Did you know that a six-foot tree will use one gallon of water every two days? Keeping your tree healthy and hydrated will decrease the chances of it catching fire. A tree caught on fire can envelop a room in less than one minute. This scary video made by the National Institute of  shows exactly how (don’t worry, no one was hurt in the making of this video):

No matter which holiday you are celebrating this season, don’t let them be ruined by a house fire! Follow our tips above to prevent fires from happening, but also be prepared in case a fire does occur. Make sure the fire alarms are all working properly, and everyone in your household know the procedures for calling 911, including giving the dispatcher your name, address, phone number, and describing the type of emergency. Doing this means that help will arrive faster and prepared to fight the fire.

Stay safe and have a happy holiday season!


Brenneco Fire Protection provides fire inspection and protection services throughout Central Indiana including the Greater Lafayette and Indianapolis areas. We partner with many different industries to ensure your fire safety through installation and inspection of various emergency systems.

We make it our top priority to answer your call for assistance and show up on time when you need us. Our expertise helps you eliminate downtime and keeps you employees and facilities protected.

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