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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How To Prevent Holiday Fires

12/22/2022 (Permalink)

Fire damage in a house. No matter how severe the fire, SERVPRO is here to help!


The holidays are a time for gathering with family and friends, feasting on delicious meals, and celebrating the season. But they're also a time of year when many people accidentally start fires in their homes. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), holiday fires account for more than 30 percent of all residential fires during December, January, and February each year. Despite this high number, there are ways to prevent holiday fires from happening in your home. Here are some tips:

Never leave cooking food unattended.

Accidents happen, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. The best way to avoid a fire is to never leave cooking food unattended. This means when you're using the stove or oven, be sure that someone else is always paying attention — even if you're just putting something in the oven for a few minutes and then coming back later.

Never use your stove or oven to heat your home as well — it's a good idea not to overfill any electrical appliance with too many items plugged into it at once. If there are too many appliances on at once, this could lead to overheating and potential damage of your appliance or even start a fire!

Use battery-operated flameless candles.

If you’re worried about your family and guests being safe this holiday season, consider replacing real candles with battery-operated flameless candles. Candles are a beloved tradition in many homes—but they can also be dangerous if not handled properly. To keep everyone safe, opt for battery-operated flameless candles instead of their traditional counterparts.

These types of candles come in all shapes and styles, from tapered to pillar to scented varieties that make your home smell like a winter wonderland. They may take longer to set up than traditional ones (you must plug them in), but they’re worth the time investment: they look realistic and have just as nice an effect as their flame-light counterparts!

Install a smoke alarm on every story of your home, and in each bedroom.

In addition to taking these steps, you should also make sure your smoke alarm is functioning properly.

To do this, perform a monthly test by pushing the "test" button on your device. If it sounds an alarm, you should change the batteries immediately and continue testing until the unit is working correctly.

Test your smoke alarms once per month.

Test your smoke alarms once per month and change the batteries at least once per year. This is a pressing safety matter, as many fires are started by faulty or dead smoke alarms. Testing your smoke alarm will help prevent accidents and injuries, while also ensuring that you're well-equipped to detect fire and get out safely should one occur.

If you have pets that might interfere with testing, make sure to test when you are home and awake so that any false alarms can be shut off quickly in case of an actual emergency. If possible, test the alarm when someone else is home who can respond quickly if needed.

Keep combustible materials away from the tree and unplug the tree lights at night or when you leave home.

If you have a live tree, be sure to water it frequently. If possible, place the tree in a bucket with water to keep it from drying out. Keep the base of your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, and space heaters. If you have an artificial Christmas tree, make sure it is set up away from flammable items such as curtains or furniture and keep it unplugged when not in use.

Do not overload electrical outlets.

Holiday safety is paramount. In addition to checking the fuses, do not overload electrical outlets.

  • Do not plug too many items into one outlet. Plugging in too many appliances or lights into one outlet can cause a short circuit and even start a fire.
  • Do not plug extension cords into other extension cords. This causes overcrowding and increases the risk of overheating, which could cause a fire or shock hazard.
  • Overloading outlets with too many appliances can also lead to overheating and eventually malfunctioning of the appliance(s). It is best to use multiple power strips instead of multiple outlets if you need extra plugs for various devices such as lamps, televisions, etc., so that each device has its own dedicated power strip with enough capacity for its intended use without causing an overload on any individual circuit breaker in your home's wiring system!"

Never put lit candles on a Christmas tree or near evergreen boughs.

Candles are a great way to add some extra holiday spirit to your home, but they can also cause fires. Never leave lit candles unattended, and never place them near evergreen boughs. Candles can easily ignite the flammable material of garlands and wreaths made from evergreens or other plants with leaves.

If you notice that your house is filling up with smoke from someone else's candle, never enter their house yourself to put out an unattended candle or fire! Instead, call 911 immediately so that the fire department can extinguish the flames before they spread too far and end up destroying your own home as well.

Holiday fires can be prevented through planning and care.

Fire safety is a concern during the holidays, but with planning and care, you can prevent holiday fires.

  • Be vigilant with fire safety. Make a plan and stick to it. Check smoke alarms regularly (at least once per month) and test them once per month.
  • Know where the fire extinguisher is located in your home - or better yet have one on every floor that you live in and make sure you know how to use it!


In closing, we hope that this guide has helped you to better understand how to prevent holiday fires. It is important to take safety precautions year-round, but especially during the holidays when most people are indoors and more likely to forget about potential risks like candles or cooking fires. If you follow these tips and use common sense when it comes down to it, then you should be able avoid any serious incidents this holiday season!

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