Putting up lights and decorations while cooking for family and friends are holiday traditions that everyone loves. Unfortunately, these activities can increase the risk of a house fire.


According to statistics, house fires occur more frequently during the holiday season than at any other time of year. Be sure to exercise appropriate fire safety during the holidays by following these five tips.


1. Keep an Eye on Your Tree

Christmas trees can easily catch on fire and burst into flames in under a minute. That’s why it’s important to keep your tree watered and keep heat sources at least 3 feet away.


If you have a fake tree, be sure to purchase one that is fire-resistant. If you choose a natural tree, pick out one that feels fresh. You can tell a tree is fresh if the branches bend instead of snap and the needles aren’t falling off.


Once the holidays are over, dispose of your tree right away. Once it dries out and begins to die, it is even more of a fire hazard.

2. Unplug Lights When You’re Away

When you’re away from home or sleeping at night, make sure you unplug all of your lights. This will prevent them from starting any fires when you’re not home and unable to react quickly. Do a sweep of the house at bedtime and make sure everything is out including tree lights, decorations, candles, and the stove.


3. Put Decorations Up Safely

Most decorations, especially lights, come with manufacturer’s instructions that you should follow when putting them up. Only use lights that have a red UL tag for exterior use outside. For fire safety during the holidays, buy decorations with a flame-resistant tag and get rid of any frayed and worn extension cords or strings of light.


4. Be Cautious When Using Candles

Candles make your home seem cozier during the holidays, but it’s important to keep an eye on them when they are burning. Make sure you blow out your candles before you go to bed or leave the house.


Use an enclosed candle holder instead of opting for tall taper or pillar candles. They can get knocked over too easily. The best option is to buy some battery-powered candles that have zero chance of starting a fire.


5. Pay Attention While Baking and Cooking

There’s a lot to get done over the holidays and it can be tempting to try to multitask while baking your holiday cookies. Resist the temptation and exercise proper fire safety by paying attention to what you’re cooking.


Keep any flammable items like paper towels, pot holders, and oven mitts away from your stove and burners. Set timers so that you don’t forget food is on the stove or in the oven.


You don’t want your home to be damaged or a loved one to be injured because you neglected fire safety during the holidays. Use common sense and take steps to keep your home safe this season.


AZ325 Real Estate Inspection wishes you safe and happy holidays!