Holiday Fire Safety Tips

The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control urge all state residents to check their homes to ensure a fire safe holiday season. “This Holiday Season, make sure our homes are safe from Holiday Hazards,” stated Jeff Morrissette, State Fire Administrator, “Holiday decorations, cooking fires, and heating system fires are most important this time of year.” As we decorate our homes for the holidays, and prepare for the winter, a few safety reminders are important to keep you and your family safe.

  • Check all holiday lights for broken insulation or frayed wires. Electrical lighting is a cause of most Christmas tree fires.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets and don’t run extension cords under rugs, across doorways or near heaters.
  • If you use candles, use a tip-proof candle holder and always blow out candles when you leave the room. Half of all holiday decoration fires are caused by candles.
  • Make sure your Christmas tree is fresh and water it every day. If a tree dries out it is a tremendous fire hazard. Keep your tree at least 3 feet away from heat sources.
  • Fireplaces should always be used with a screen to catch sparks and embers from coming into the room. Dispose ashes in a covered metal container and store it ten feet away from your home. Ashes can maintain enough heat to ignite combustible items for several days.

Remember to check your smoke and carbon Monoxide detectors regularly to ensure they will work to keep your family safe. Also, smoke or carbon monoxide detectors can make a great gift for new parents or the elderly. Look for detectors with a 10 year sealed battery. For more information go to:

The Connecticut Fire Academy is the teaching arm of the Connecticut Commission on Fire Prevention and Control. Part of their mission is educating the public in fire and burn prevention.