Celebrate the Holidays Safely
November 21, 2022 | Member Submitted
From the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team
Winter has arrived in the Lake Tahoe Basin along with the holiday season. Local fire districts and their partners would like to take this opportunity to remind residents and visitors to celebrate safely.
Decorating for the holidays is a tradition in homes all over the world but be sure to decorate safely. According to NFPA, almost one third of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems and more than two of every five decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.
Holiday Decorating Tips:
• Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant, flame retardant, or flameless.
• Keep lit candles away from decorations and other flammable materials or use battery powered flameless candles.
• Some decorative lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
• Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for maximum number of light strands to connect.
• Never plug more than two appliances into an outlet at once.
• Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
• Do not block window or door exits with decorations.
• Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
• Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
• Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
• If you’re smoking outside, please make sure to properly dispose of your cigarette in a large, deep ashtray a safe distance away from any vegetation.
Kitchen & Cooking Safety Tips:
• Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
• Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot, and kids should stay 3 feet away.
• Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
• Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks, or bags.
• Keep knives out of the reach of children.
• Be sure electrical cords from electric knives, coffee makers, plate warmers or mixers are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
If you have a small (grease) cooking fire and decide to fight the fire:
• On the stovetop, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
• For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
If you have any doubt about fighting a small fire:
• Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
• Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the home.
For more home safety tips, visit www.nfpa.org/education.