6 min read

Christmas Fire Safety Tips

One of the most notable things about the Christmas holidays is the abundance of lights and electronic decorations on display inside and outside residential and commercial properties. It’s the time of year when homeowners and businesses indulge and install as many lights as possible – some covering entire sections of the house or building with twinkling Christmas lights – to make the holidays feel more festive.

Unfortunately, this practice of installing impressive Christmas lights displays also increases the risk of a fire.

Christmas fire safety is a legitimate concern during the holidays. Putting up lights and decorations, bringing a pine tree indoors and setting it up next to the fireplace, burning a yule log – these traditions are dangerous fire hazards if not handled correctly. 

To prevent fires and help ensure your safety this Christmas season, learn the fire hazards you must avoid and follow our Christmas fire safety tips below.

Common Christmas Fire Safety: Hazards To Avoid

Inspect your property and watch out for the following:

  • Electrical overload – Overloading happens when too many pieces of electrical equipment are connected to a single power source. The risk of electrical overloading is especially high during the holidays with long meters of Christmas lights plugged into a simple series and outdoor displays, like Santa statues with high-wattage bulbs, lit for hours or overnight. These decorations, plus the appliances and gadgets people use daily, can overload electrical circuits, generate heat, and eventually cause a fire.
  • Short-circuiting electronics – Short circuits happen when neutral and live wires touch. It is a fire hazard because it can produce sparks and generate heat. Short-circuiting wires can catch fires on their own, but the risk is higher when paper or other readily combustible materials are nearby.
  • Open fires – Candles and fireplaces contribute to a homey, cozy atmosphere that people crave during Christmas. Unfortunately, lit candles and fireplaces are fire hazards and are among the top causes of residential fires.
  • Defective or damaged Christmas lights – Old, worn-out, and defective Christmas lights and other electric decorations are terrible fire hazards. Being in storage for most of the year, they may develop defects that can go undetected until sparks appear and a fire breaks out. 
  • The Christmas tree – Christmas trees can become fire hazards if not handled properly. However, the risk is higher with real trees. Dried twigs and leaves can quickly catch fire if sparks from an open flame or lit candles are too near. 
  • Combustion due to heat-generating appliances – Christmas decorations made with paper, hemp rope, dried leaves, twigs, and wax can catch fire if placed next to heat-generating appliances like portable heaters, stoves, ovens, and exposed boilers. 
  • Unsupervised cooking – Another notable thing about the Christmas season is that so much cooking and food preparation happens in the days leading up to the 25th and sometimes even after. It’s usually a busy time in household kitchens with people cooking two or more dishes simultaneously. Unsurprisingly, unattended pots on a stove are among this season’s biggest fire hazards.
  • Broken fire alarms – If a fire breaks out, no matter how small it is, you’ll want to be alerted immediately. Fire alarms and smoke detectors that fail to operate are just as dangerous as the other common causes on this list.

Knowing the dangers these fire hazards bring, all steps must be taken to protect your family and property from harm. 


Simple Yet Effective Christmas Fire Safety Tips 

Ensure Christmas fire safety in your home or business by doing the following:

  • Consult an electrician – Protect your home from fire hazards by getting a licensed professional to inspect your electrical systems. They can also advise you on safely decorating your home, especially if you plan to install as many twinkling lights and decorations as possible.
  • Inspect all light strings and plug-in decorations – Whether you bought new lights or are reusing old ones, inspect the cords and bulbs first to make sure everything is working well.
  • Keep an eye on candles and fireplaces – Never leave a room for extended periods if there are lit candles or a fire on the grate. Speaking of candles, use stable holders that won’t topple easily and keep them away from flammable objects.
  • Keep decorations away from heat sources – Avoid putting holly and hanging decorations above a working fireplace. Similarly, don’t put decorations on or near heat sources, such as appliances and lamps with high-wattage light bulbs.
  • Stay in the kitchen while something’s still cooking – Make sure a capable adult is always present in the kitchen when cooking your Christmas feast. If you must leave the kitchen, set an alarm on your phone so you’ll remember to return as quickly as possible.
  • Check your house before going to sleep – A quick check to ensure everything is in order before going to bed can save people and properties from disaster. Blow out all candles, put out the flames in the fireplace, and ensure all light strings and electronic decorations are turned off and unplugged at the end of the day.
  • Test your fire and smoke alarms – Check that your fire alarm system is in proper working condition. Have it inspected by a professional as a precaution this Christmas season.
  • Prepare a fire extinguisher – As an additional precaution, make sure you have a fire extinguisher in your home or property. Everyone in your household should know its location and how to remove it from the emergency box, and all adults must know how to operate it in the event of an emergency. 

The tips we’ve listed here are simple, but they can make a big difference in making your home or business safe from fires during Christmas. 

If you want to know more about preventing residential or commercial fires during the holidays, get in touch with Restoration 1. We have experienced fire damage specialists who can advise you on fireproofing your home or business. More importantly, we can do repairs and restore your property should a fire break out. 

Restoration 1 is a highly-rated property restoration company that has restored houses and buildings with minimal and extensive fire damage. Contact your local restoration team to request cleanup assistance, consultation, and property restoration services.