Tips for safely decorating your home for the holidays

Fire-resistant decorations

If you are putting up an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled as fire-resistant before decorating. Additionally, vintage decorations made from lace, paper and fabric are often flammable, making it critical to display them away from any heat source, including other holiday lights.

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Consider LED candles

Open-flame candles can be a fire hazard, making more modern battery-operated LED candles a better option. If you decided to be more traditional, be sure to keep candles away from trees, wreaths or other decorations that can easily catch fire.

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Don’t overload extension cords

Don’t connect more than three light strings to an extension cord and be sure to unplug lights when you are not home or going to sleep.

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Water your tree

Dried-out Christmas trees are a major fire hazard. When picking a live tree, give it a shake, make sure it is sticky to the touch and that minimal needs fall off. Keep live trees at least three feet from heat sources and be sure to water daily.

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Keep exits clear

While it might be tempting to jam as much holiday cheer into your season with an abundance of decorations, be sure not to block any doorways or exits.

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After listening to holiday tunes for the bulk of November, many people are prematurely in the mood to deck the halls. Before you bust out the holly and start trolling carols, consider the potential hazards you might be placing about your home.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that 160 Christmas trees catch fire every year, on average. Among those fires, half were caused by electrical distribution or lighting equipment and nearly 1-in-5 Christmas tree fires were started by decorative lights.

The above slideshow offers tips for safely decorating during the holiday season, according to Allstate.

Those that haven’t overlooked Thanksgiving should still proceed with caution while celebrating. The NFPA reported an estimated 1,400 fires occurred on Thanksgiving in 2019, a 228% increase compared with an average day.

“The good news is that the vast majority of cooking fires are preventable with a little added awareness,” Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of outreach and advocacy, said in a release. “By taking simple steps and precautions to minimize the likelihood of having a cooking fire, everyone can enjoy a festive, fire-safe Thanksgiving.”

The NFPA recommends the following tips to ensure a safe, blaze free Thanksgiving:

  • Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Some types of cooking, especially those that involve frying or sautéing with oil, need continuous attention.
  • When cooking a turkey, remain at home and check it regularly.
  • Make use of timers to keep track of cooking times, particularly for foods that require longer cook times.
  • Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels at least three feet away from the cooking area.
  • Avoid long sleeves and hanging fabrics that can come in contact with a heat source.
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Only open the door once you’re confident the fire is completely out, standing to the side as you do. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact the fire department for assistance.
  • Keep children at least three feet away from the stove. Kids should also stay away from hot foods and liquids, as steam or splash from these items could cause severe burns.