christmas lights1MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together.  But that also means a greater risk for fire. By following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.

FACTS:

  • Two of every five home decoration fires are started by candles.
  • Nearly half of decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.

Holiday decorating:

  • Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
  • Some 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 number of light strands to connect.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

Holiday Entertaining:

  • 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.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
  • Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.
  • Discard fireplace ashes outside, at least 10 feet from any other object in a metal can with the lid securely attached.

Before Heading to Bed:

  • Blow out lit candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.