Fire Safety Tips To Remember Around The Holidays

The Christmas holidays are a time to create happy memories with family and friends, but it's also important to be mindful of fire safety at this time of year. Over the holidays, you can often find yourself distracted by gatherings at your home and thoughts about the last-minute things you need to buy. There are a number of potential fire risks in your home that specifically occur around the holidays, but a handful of fire protection tips can get you through this festive time of the year safely. Here are some ideas to keep in mind.

Think Twice About Lighting The Cake

Many people create a visual spectacle for their family or guests by lighting their Christmas cake or pudding after dousing it in brandy. While the flickering of the flames certainly boosts the wow factor of your gathering, it can also be a fire hazard. Not only is there the possibility of the fire getting out of control, but there's a chance you could stumble while carrying the flaming dessert into the dining room to make your grand presentation. There's no harm in serving this seasonal dessert, but it's better to leave the flames out of it.

Be Careful With Extension Cords

Many people rely on a variety of extension cords over the holidays to supply power to lights and other decorations that require power. Extension cord use, however, can threaten the safety of your home; more than 3,000 house fires every year can be attributed to the use of extension cords. Try to position your decorations in a manner so that they can be plugged directly into the wall, rather than rely on extension cords.

Don't Let Your Tree Dry Out

The drier your tree gets, the more easily it could catch fire. While trees and candles never mix, you may choose to light some candles around your home regardless. You can dramatically reduce the risk of the tree catching fire and the flames spreading quickly by keeping the tree from getting dry. This means buying it a little later in the season, rather than buying it early and letting it sit around drying for a month. You should also make sure to keep the tree's stand topped up with water.

Keep Stockings Off The Hearth

Many families lay their Christmas stockings on the hearth in front of the fireplace. The concern with this placement is that an errant spark could quickly catch the material of a stocking on fire, and the fire could easily spread. It's best to always keep your hearth clear of any holiday decorations or items.