December is coming up fast and these are exciting times to get together with family and friends, put up fun and colorful decorations, and enjoy special foods. Unfortunately, the holiday season also presents unique fire hazards. 

A fire incident will certainly take the fun out of celebrating the holidays, so take appropriate precautions to guard your fire safety. Here are some fire safety tips to help you safely celebrate the holidays:

1. Cook with caution

A lot of home fires start while cooking. Although we often try to cook with care, it can be easy to neglect caution in the middle of the chaotic holiday preparations. More cooking means more pots and more stoves being lit, which can increase the risk of a fire. So be extra careful.

Make sure to stay in the kitchen when something is cooking on the stovetop or something is being baked in the oven. Keep the pan lids close by so that you can quickly cover them with the lid if a fire starts and remove the pan from the stove. Once done cooking, turn off all the burners and remove the pans.

2. Pay close attention to decorations

It is relaxing to watch all the blinking Christmas lights and the dangling decors on your Christmas tree, but they also pose a risk when it comes to fire safety. When buying decors, test all the lights and cords and replace any faulty decors or bulbs. use clips to hang indoor lights instead of nails to avoid damaging the cords. Do not use decorations intended for outdoor use inside your home. If you want to use candles, keep them away from children and flammable materials, then don’t forget to extinguish them before you leave the room or go to sleep.

Put Christmas trees or other indoor decorations at least three feet away from any heat source. Switch off any decorative lights before leaving your home or going to sleep. When the holiday ends or if the tree becomes dry, get rid of it.

3. Use outdoor decorations responsibly

A lot of people want to show their holiday spirit by using outdoor light displays. If you plan to decorate outside the house, use electrical decorations and extension cords meant for outdoor  use.Keep the wires and lights away from snow or standing water to avoid damage to the cord’s insulation.

4. Don’t forget the lighters and matches

When you light up the fireplace or any decor using an open flame, don’t leave them unattended. An open flame can cause serious risks if handled improperly. Keep lighters, matches, and other fire-starting materials away from the reach of children. Ask holiday guests who smoke to do so outside and completely extinguish cigarette butts and ashes.

5. Use fireworks appropriately

If you want to celebrate the holiday with a bang, make sure that your fireworks are used and stored appropriately. Check local laws about their use and follow all regulations. Light up fireworks outside only, away from wires, buildings, and trees. Do not relight a firework that fails to explode.

Don’t forget to have your smoke alarms tested to make sure they are working. By understanding these possible fire risks associated with the holidays and taking safety precautions, you can keep prevent fires while enjoying the holiday season.