For many, the holidays are the one time of year when everyone in the family gets together. However, with all the chaos, cooking, and decorations that come with the holidays, this time of year can leave your home at risk for a fire. In order to keep your home and family safe, be aware of these essential fire safety tips for the holidays.

Remember These Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays

Fires happen when you least expect them, and during the holiday season, more fire hazards are introduced to your home. Follow these five tips to help keep your home from becoming a statistic.

1. Be Careful When Cooking

With family and friends in town for the holidays, you’ll likely be cooking a lot more food than usual. Pile on the added stress that this time of year brings and it’s quite easy to get distracted. Many holiday fires occur because someone forgot to check on the stove or oven. Avoid this by setting a timer on the stove or on your phone to remind you to check on your food.

Along with keeping an eye on your food, be sure to take the necessary safety precautions when cooking. Have a fire extinguisher nearby in case anything gets out of hand. Avoid letting paper or cloth products get near the eye of the stove.

2. Don’t Leave Candles Unattended

While candles are festive, they are also a major contributor to holiday-related house fires. The National Fire Protection Association has marked Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day as the days with the most fires started by candles. Reduce the danger of fire-by-candle by keeping your candles well away from anything flammable. Also never leave lit candles unattended.

Another one of the most effective fire safety tips for the holidays is to swap out real candles for battery-operated LED ones. These lights offer the same amount of ambiance without the added danger.

3. Keep Your Tree Watered

While holiday trees are a winter staple, they can also cause major residential fire damage. In less than a minute, a dry tree can engulf a whole room in flames. One of the most important fire safety tips for the holidays is to keep your live tree fresh by watering it every day. Christmas trees that are well hydrated are less likely to catch fire. You can tell if it is fresh by trying to bend the branches. If they snap or many needles fall off, it is too dry.

Once your tree is set up, keep it away from any heat sources. Placing your tree near a radiator, fireplace, or other heated lights can start a fire.

4. Minimize the Risks Caused by Decorative Lights

Festive string lights can easily start a fire if they have cracked or frayed wires, so check them before use. Also, connecting too many lights to the outlet or stringing too many together can further add to the risk.

5. Prevent Fireplace-Related Fires

Many families like to spend their holidays relaxing by the fire. However, fireplaces that haven’t been properly cleaned can turn a fire in the fireplace into a whole house fire. Prevent this from happening by having your fireplace properly inspected and cleaned.

Once your fireplace is ready for use, keep the flying embers to a minimum. Putting in a screen or glass doors will help keep the embers away from your floor, reducing the risk of the fire escaping the fireplace. While many folks hang stockings in front of the fireplace, this isn’t a good idea in case a rogue ember escapes and ignites it.

Don’t let a house fire ruin your holidays. Keep these five tips in mind to make sure you are fully prepared for fire safety this holiday season.

Prep Right Property Inspections wishes you a safe and happy holiday season.