Holiday Fire Safety Tips from Maverick Fire & Safety

During this holiday season we want to put safety first so the fun doesn’t end or pause with a fire related accident at home or in the work place. We’ve put together a list of safety precautions for you to help you with staying safe during the holiday season.

  1. Assign a safety officer or coordinator at work and at home maybe assign a safety enthusiast. While safety is everyone’s job it’s good to have one person give a little more thought into fire safety.
  2. Choose decorations such as garland, cloth decorations, paper decorations that are flame retardant or resistant. Then, keep these decorations at least 12 inches away from the fireplace, open candle flames, and other heat sources.
  3. Use UL-listed Christmas tree lights rated for indoor use. Check strands closely as you hang them and replace any with frayed cords or loose light bulb connections. Only link together the number of strands recommended by the manufacturer.
  4. Always use medium to heavy duty rated extension cords. Never use flimsy cords or auxiliary cords.
  5. Plug your lights and extension cords into a GFCI wall receptacle. These GFCIs monitor the electrical current flowing through them and automatically shut off if the current becomes unbalanced. Many new homes have these. If your home doesn’t, you can have an electrician come out and convert your current electrical outlets or add some new ones that are more convenient.
  6. Turn off indoor lights before you go to bed. If you want to leave them on for nighttime neighborhood effect, use a high-quality timer to ensure they go off at a reasonable time.
  7. When you turn on your lights daily, inspect them and the area where they are plugged into.
  8. Inspect areas where holiday candles are set. Ensure they are on a sturdy surface in a low traffic area. If you have pets or office mascots be sure the candle is out of reach and impossible to be knocked over by our four-legged family members and employees. About 30% of holiday fires are started by lit candles.
  9. Store matches and lighters in a high place and let everyone that is of age to use these lighting devices that there is a special place for matches and lighters to be stored.
  10. Blow out candles when leaving a room, going to bed or leaving the office for the day.
  11. Ensure there are no flammable items near the candles such as curtains, paper decorations hanging close by or near any coat racks.
  12. If your office or home is very busy, you might consider getting the battery-operated candles so you don’t have to worry about accidents involving flame lit candles.
  13. Live Christmas Tree – Live Christmas trees are a beautiful way to spread holiday cheer with a certain authenticity.  We want you to keep it that way. Keeping the tree from drying out is a good first step. Every year live Christmas Tree fires cause around $14 million in damage in the U.S.
  14. If you pick out a live Christmas tree every year, choose one with fresh, healthy needles. You know you’ve found a good one if the needles remain intact when you touch them.
  15. Cut 2 inches from the base of your live Christmas tree before placing it on the stand. Position the tree at least 4 feet away from the fireplace, radiator, candles, lamps, and other heat sources.
  16. Water the tree every day to keep it moist.  It only takes two days for a tree to dry out enough to catch fire.
  17. When the holiday season is over, dispose of or recycle your tree. Do not leave it indoors to dry or just sitting on a grassy lot.
  18. You can make your curtains more flame retardant. The curtains near your Christmas tree are at risk if the tree catches fire which can exponentially increase the rate the fire spreads. There are several solutions on the market that you can spray on your curtains that will make them more flame retardant.
  19. Keep a fire extinguisher near your tree. We recommend you have a fire extinguisher anywhere in your home or office where there is any chance of a fire occurring such as the kitchen, garage, near your grill, work shop and of course near your Christmas Tree.

Having a plan to prevent tragedy and a plan on how to react when the event begins can make the holidays more enjoyable. It shows real leadership to ensure your employees, customers and family are safe.

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