Updated: Dec 6, 2022
According to the National Fire Protection Association, each year 860 home fires are caused by holiday decorations and another 210 are caused by Christmas trees. To avoid becoming a statistic, follow these tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI):
Keep decorations at least three feet away from heat sources, especially those with an open flame, like fireplaces and candles.
The best decorations are safe decorations, so when you’re decorating, make sure not to run cords under rugs or furniture, as walking on the cords or bending them can cause damage.
If you have a live Christmas tree, water it to keep it fresh and safe.
Always turn off lights and other electric decorations when you leave your home and when you’re sleeping.
If you’re using extension cords or adaptors that add receptacles, it’s safer to have a qualified electrician add more outlets to your home to avoid overloading your outlets.
Only use electronics in dry areas; if lighting outdoor areas, use only those approved for outdoor use.
Remember that phones and tablets should stay on your nightstand, not under the blankets or your pillow. If the phone is insulated by bedding, generated heat can’t dissipate and can cause a fire.
Every home needs a working smoke alarm in each bedroom; outside sleeping areas; and on every level, including the basement.
If you are using a space heater, switch it off before leaving the room.
Inspect your decorations and discard any that are damaged or worn out. If you replace them, be sure to purchase items approved by a national testing lab such as UL, Intertek or CSA.
Keep batteries stored safely in their packaging and out of reach from small children and pets.
The best gift for your family is an arc-fault circuit interrupter on breakers or outlets. Many electrical fires that occur could have been prevented by AFCIs.