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Holiday Fire Safety

Holiday Fire Prevention Safety Tips

The Cincinnati Fire Department would like to remind residents to be fire safe with their holiday decorations this season.

In an effort to keep Cincinnati residents fire safe, CFD is providing the following life-saving tips:

Holiday Lights

  • Maintain your lights – by inspecting them for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear.
  • Only use lights listed by an approved tested laboratory.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets.
  • Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe.
  • Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.
  • Make sure to periodically check the wires, they should not be warm to the touch.
  • Do not leave lights on unattended.

Holiday Decorations

  • All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents.
  • Never put wrapping paper in a fireplace. It can throw off dangerous sparks and produce a chemical buildup in the home that could cause an explosion.

Holiday Trees

  • If you have a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame-retardant.
  • If you have a live tree, do not place it close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.
  • Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree.
  • Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.
  • Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

Candle Care

  • Avoid using lit candles.
  • If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down.
  • Never leave the house with candles burning.
  • Never put lit candles on a tree.
  • Do not go near a holiday tree with an open flame, candles, lighters or matches.

Finally, as in every season:

  • Make sure to have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, test them monthly and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times.
  • Know when and how to call for help.
  • Remember to practice your home escape plan.

For maximum protection, the Cincinnati Fire Department encourages the use of both photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms.

  • Photoelectric alarms - quickly sense smoke from smoldering, smoky fires, such as those ignited by a cigarette falling between sofa cushions.
  • Ionization Alarms - quickly sense smoke caused by flaming, fast-moving fires, such as a kitchen fire.