Press Releases

Holiday Fire Prevention

Office of the State Fire Marshal | Nov 18, 2013

Holiday Fire Safety

Stop the holiday fire before it starts:

  • Do not place your Christmas tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree and it could catch fire by heat, flame, or sparks more easily.
  • Never put Christmas tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove.
  • When the tree becomes dry, remove it from your home right away. The best way to get rid of your tree is to take it to a recycling center or have it collected by a community pick-up service.
  • Check holiday lights each year for wires that are worn out or coming apart, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and a lot of bends or twists in the wire.
  • Only use laboratory-tested lighting and extension cords.
  • Never overload outlets or extension cords. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.
  • Do not leave lit holiday lights on unless someone is in the room.
  • Avoid using lit candles. If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and put them where they cannot be easily knocked over and start a fire.
  • Never leave the home with candles burning.

Be prepared for a fire:

  • One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm that can sound fast for both a fire that has flames, and a smoky fire that has fumes without flames. It is called a "Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm." A smoke alarm greatly reduces your chances of dying in a fire.
  • Prepare an escape plan and practice it twice a year. Make sure everyone in your family knows at least two (2) escape routes from their bedrooms.