Are Your Holiday Decorations Fire Safe?

The Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team urges all Lake Tahoe Basin residents to know how to safely decorate for the holidays –

 Holiday decorating is a tradition in homes all over the world, but do you know how to safely decorate your home? The following are tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to help keep your home safe from fire this holiday season:

  • Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant and flame retardant.
  • Keep candles away from decorations and other things that can burn. According to the NFPA, two of every five home decoration fires are started by candles, and nearly half of decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source. Blow out lit candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any strings of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords don’t get damaged.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

When it comes to holiday entertaining, there are also some tips to keep in mind:

  • Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
  • Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.

For more fire safety tips, visit www.nfpa.org/education[nfpa.org].

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