December means it’s holiday season. Unfortunately, it also means it’s fire season. There are more house fires during the holidays than any time of the year.

The main reason: The many lights — including candles — that go with the holidays.

I hope you have an enjoyable and safe holiday season. With that in mind, here are some tips for keeping your holidays safe:

  • Check your holiday electric lights before using. Replace lights showing signs of wear — frayed wires, for example.
  • Don’t overload electrical circuits. For many, lots of lights are a big part of holiday festivity. Just make sure you don’t go beyond what your electrical circuits can handle safely. Lights, including LEDs, generate heat. Make sure you don’t overheat your tree (or other areas decorated with electric lights.)
  • Keep trees away from fireplaces and heaters.
  • Keep burning candles away from curtains, wrapping paper and other flammable material. Make sure they’re secure and not easily turned over.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby — and readily accessible.
  • If you have pets or small children, brace your tree so it can’t be easily pulled over.
  • If you have a live tree, water it often — and check it regularly. Loose or shedding needles mean your tree is too dry.
  • If you have an artificial tree, buy one that is fire resistant. And remember fire resistant doesn’t mean fire proof. Keep fire safety in mind even with a fire-resistant tree.
  • Don’t burn wrapping paper or boxes in the fireplace. Paper can catch fire quickly and cause flash fires. Boxes can overheat your chimney to the point of causing your house to catch fire.
  • Turn lights off and extinguish candles before leaving your house or going to bed.
  • Use unbreakable ornaments if they’re within reach of small children or pets. (Cats can climb high into a tree.)
  • Keep decorations that look like candy or food out of reach (and out of sight) if you have small children or pets. This includes marijuana edibles, if you have them in your house.
  • Don’t leave packages outside or in your car. Thieves are especially active this time of year.
  • Beware of poisonous plants. One prime example around the holidays: poinsettias.

Happy holidays, regardless of how you celebrate them. I look forward to helping you with any insurance needs you have during the coming new year.

Questions or concerns? Call me at 303.922.1002.