< Back to Community News

Celebrate Safely This Holiday Season

December 22, 2023 | Member Submitted

Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together and enjoy the season’s festivities.

Following a few simple tips will help to ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.

Preventing Christmas Tree Fires:

  • Keep trees watered and away from all heat sources including fireplaces, stoves, and room/space heaters.
  • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.”
  • When the tree becomes dry, promptly discard it. Please consider using the Free Holiday Tree Recycling Program. This service will be availableDecember 22nd through January 29th, 2023. 
  • Please note – the new location for tree drop off is the overflow parking lot across from Incline Beach.

Visit www.yourtahoeplace.com/publicworks or call 775-832-1203.

Lights & Candles:

  • Please do not use candles on the Christmas tree.
  • Place candles where they will not be knocked down and keep candles away from pets and children’s reach.
  • Be extremely careful with candles that have leaves, flowers, pinecones, or other decorative items cast into them. These items can become wicks and ignite the candle in a way that the candle is not designed.
  • Keep lights or candles away from anything that could easily catch fire (NFPA reports that half of home candles fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle). 
  • Please do not leave holiday lights or candles unattended.
  • Inspect all lights and cords before using them. Discard all lights with cracked or broken wiring and never overload circuits.

Holiday Decorations:

  • Keep wrapping paper and ribbons away from heat sources. This includes candles, lights, fireplaces, stoves, and heaters.
  • Wrapping paper and ribbon should be thrown away in trash containers, not fireplaces. Burning paper and ribbon could cause a chimney fire and can off gas toxic fumes when burned. 
  • Put decorations high enough on the tree so your child or pet cannot reach them. Children can choke or cut themselves on ornaments or ornament hangers. 
  • Holly and mistletoe are poisonous. Keep them away from children and animals.
  • Use only nonflammable or flame-retardant decorations and place away from heat vents.
  • If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame-retardant.

Watch What You Heat:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking. Do not leave potholders on top of the simmering pots on the stove.
  • If you are using a turkey fryer, please follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions, and remember that the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has chosen not to certify any turkey fryers with the UL mark because they consider them to be dangerous to use presenting numerous safety hazards to consumers.

Fireplace Safety:

  • Check and clean the fireplace and chimney every year.
  • Always put logs and newspapers on a grate inside the fireplace and use a fireplace screen.
  • Please do not use gasoline, lighter fluid, or kerosene to start a fire and make sure the fire you build “fits” your fireplace (use an appropriate amount of newspaper and logs).
  • Place completely cooled ashes in a metal container. Keep metal containers outside away from the house in a safe place. Add water to the ashes before discarding them.

Related Blog Posts

Sign up for our weekly SnapShot newsletter