The holidays can bring risks to your household if you don’t take the proper precautions. During the month of December, decorations and activities make house fires more common. To keep your holiday celebrations safe and festive, follow these fire safety tips for the holidays.

The Most Important Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays

The holidays are often the busiest time of the year. With everybody rushing around, fire safety can easily be overlooked. To help prevent an emergency situation, be sure to use these fire safety tips for the holidays :

1. Exercise Caution When Plugging in Lights

During the holidays, people tend to plug in their lighting, cooking appliances, heating tools, and more into the same circuit. Having an overloaded circuit significantly increases the potential for outages and electrical fires. A residential circuit can usually hold 15-20 amps.

String lights can also become a fire hazard when used on holiday trees. If the cord on a string of lights is damaged with fraying or exposed wire, it’s best to replace them with a new set. Another good practice when considering fire safety tips for the holidays is to turn all the decorations and lights off at night. Whether you do it manually or have them on a timer, this will keep anything from catching fire while you’re asleep.

2. Be Careful with Your Space Heaters

Many residential fires that occur during the holidays are caused by space heaters. Since space heaters shoudl only be used for temporary heating, avoid leaving them on for hours at a time. When using a space heater, be sure to never plug it into an extension cord or power strip. It should always be plugged into a wall outlet.

Whenever you use a space heater, place it a safe distance from anything that might catch fire. This includes the tree and any other flammable decorations.

3. Check Your Smoke Detectors

When practicing fire safety tips for the holidays, make sure you have enough smoke detectors. Every bedroom in the house should have a smoke detector so anyone sleeping is immediately alerted at the first sign of a fire. There should also be one in the kitchen and on every floor of the house. If you already have smoke detectors throughout your home, test the batteries.

Also, install a few carbon monoxide detectors throughout the house. These carbon monoxide detectors work to protect you from the deadly threat of carbon monoxide. Consider buying a combination detector for both smoke and carbon monoxide.

4. Get Sturdy Extension Cords

Extension cords are quite helpful around the holidays. However, when practicing fire safety tips for the holidays, be sure that all your extension cords are heavy-duty. Extension cords that are cheaper and flimsy can easily cause an electrical fire. Don’t attach more than 2 strings of light to an extension cord. Be sure to tape extension cords down so they don’t become a tripping hazard.

5. Practice Candle Safety

Candles are often used to create a festive ambiance during the holidays, but they can also cause residential fires if left unattended. If you’re set on using candles, remove any flammable items from within the area and place candles in enclosed holders. Never leave lit candles unattended.

If you’re okay with substituting your candlelight with an electrical alternative, consider getting the battery-operated, flameless lights. These are the safest option as they are less likely to cause a fire.

Keep these five suggestions in mind as you get ready to spend time with your loved ones.

Hub City Home Inspections wishes you a happy and safe holiday season!