'Tis the season for fire safety!

While the holidays are fun, the use of candles, fireplaces, decorations, and Christmas trees means they can also be dangerous. Review these safety tips to keep your home fire-free and full of joy during your family festivities.

FIRST THINGS FIRST — Check your SMOKE alarms

Double-check your smoke alarms before the festivities begin. Make sure that batteries are fully charged and connected to the device. Fires are more likely to occur in December and January, so your smoke alarm plays a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries.

KEEP WARM (AND SAFE) BY THE FIRE

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), putting items such as furniture, clothing, and other decorations too close to a flame is the leading cause of fatal home-heating fires.

Always keep children and anything flammable at least 3 feet away from fireplaces and heating equipment.

FLAMELESS CANDLES: JUST AS FESTIVE, TWICE AS SAFE

According to NFPA, home candle fires peak during December. They may make the atmosphere more inviting, but having open flames around all the festive decor makes them more hazardous, too.

Consider replacing real candles with battery-operated, flameless candles. Same ambiance, less danger. You can even choose various scents, just like with wax candles.

If you do decide to burn real candles:

  • Use sturdy candleholders placed on flat surfaces.
  • Keep candles away from other objects.
  • Always blow them out when you leave a room.

O CHRISTMAS TREE, O CHRISTMAS TREE

Everyone loves a Christmas tree loaded with lights and sentimental decorations. But, while the decorations may be pretty, they can also be a fire hazard. Although Christmas tree fires are rare, when they do occur, they are likely to be serious. This video from NFPA shows just how fast a Christmas tree can catch fire, and how quickly it can spread:

Be fire-smart while you deck the halls with these tips from the NFPA.

HOW LOVELY ARE THY BRANCHES

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Make sure the tree trunk fits your stand. Trimming the bark off takes away the trees ability to absorb water, causing it to die faster.

ROCKIN’ AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE

  • Cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand.
  • Situate the tree at least 3 feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights.
  • Don’t block any exits.
  • Water the tree daily to the tree stand.

SET THE BRANCHES GLOWING

  • Use lights that are labelled from a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace or remove any lights that have worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Don't connect more strands than the manufacturer recommends.
  • Never decorate the tree with real, lit candles.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

  • Remove the tree once the needles are dry and starting to fall off.
  • Check with your community recycling program about how to dispose of your tree.

Whether you’re wrapping up presents or wrapping up the holiday season, give yourself the gift of peace of mind by making sure you’re covered for any holiday mishap.

GET COVERED THIS HOLIDAY