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Holiday cooking

The three leading dates for home structure fires caused by cooking were: Thanksgiving, Christmas day and Christmas Eve. That's why it's important to follow these cooking safety tips to help keep your friends and family safe while entertaining for the holidays. 

Candle safety

December is the peak month for candle fires.

  • Consider using flameless battery-powered candles.
  • Extinguish candles when you leave a room or go to bed.
  • Keep lit candles well away from decorations, curtains, Christmas trees, paper and other items that can burn.
  • Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip easily and are made from materials that can’t burn. Make sure candle holders are large enough to collect dripping wax.
  • Keep lit candles away from pets and children.

Christmas trees

  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving or going to bed.
  • Place the tree at least three feet away from any heat source such as a fireplace, heater or light
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Water the tree daily.
  • One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.

After Christmas, get rid of the tree. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside near the house.

Fireplace safety

When you curl up with a good book by the fireplace, be sure to keep in mind these safety tips:

  • Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out.
  • Do not burn paper in your fireplace.
  • Put the fire out before you go to sleep or leave your home.
  • Put ashes outside in a metal container with a lid, at least 3 feet from your home.
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year by a professional.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

FEMA Video: Holiday Fire Safety