Five Tips to Avoid Burning Your House Down During the Holidays


“Kaminfeuer” by David Ortmann is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

By Enrico Spadaccini, FHNtoday Reporter

It’s December, the snow is coming and it’s bringing the most anticipated holiday of the year: Christmas. This colorful and funny holiday is celebrated on Dec. 25, but as we know, the delightful lights start turning on since almost one month before when the families all around the U.S. start decorating their houses.

Unfortunately, this dream holiday could turn into a horrible nightmare, closing the curtains of the light show and putting just ash under the spotlights. For this reason, here is some advice to prevent it from happening:

  • Advice #1:

As we know, one of the best parts of Christmas for people is food, and precisely the most common culprit is food left unattended. A simple way to prevent leaving something on the stove or in the oven is bringing a pot holder with you as a reminder. Otherwise, whether you want to fry your turkey or invite your relatives for a BBQ, make sure you cook your food outside.

  • Advice #2:

Candles are a big part of everyday lives for a lot of people, especially during Christmas holidays. What we do not know is that they are the biggest source of fires and, during the holidays, the rate increases four times. To prevent it from happening, keep your candles off of your furniture, in order to not leave them out of sight and put them at least one foot from everything which could catch fire.

  • Advice #3:

The most representative decoration of this holiday is the Christmas tree. It can be fake or real, but in both cases always remember that they are dry and for this reason it is easier to engulf a house in flames in less than one minute. If you want minimize the risk the best way would be buy a real Christmas tree and water it everyday, but if you still want use your traditional one just make sure to turn if off during the night.

  • Advice #4:

As I already said, Christmas lights are the focus of this month, but they are also the primary source of danger. Because of this the tip for this decoration is: do not connect more than three strings of lights end to end. Connecting all you strings to each other and plugging them just in one electrical outlet could cause a blackout and, consequently, catch on fire. 

  • Advice #5:

Snow does not mean just Christmas, but rather it inaugurates the fireplace season which will go all the way through March. To light a perfect and safe fire use seasoned wood and never use flammable liquids to light the fire. Clean your chimney regularly to avoid embers from popping out on a carpet.