Holiday Fire Safety


Learning basic fire prevention facts and taking simple precautions can make all of your holiday celebrations safe and memorable. Follow safety guidelines when using fireworks. Better yet, attend a public display operated by professionals.

Outdoor Cooking Safety

  • Keep grills a safe distance from houses and overhangs.
  • Use only properly labeled starter fluid, never substitute gasoline or kerosene.
  • Never apply a fire starter to a smoldering fire. Instead, add dry kindling and blow gently across the coals.
  • Never leave outdoor cooking unattended.


  • Check to be sure local laws permit private fireworks celebrations.
  • Adults should supervise the use of fireworks.
  • Sparks and smoldering embers from fireworks can start fires. Have water nearby for emergencies.
  • Never use fireworks in neighborhood backyards or other crowded areas.
  • Always light fireworks one at a time.


  • Costumes and decorations should only be made of flame-retardant materials. Avoid loose, flammable clothing.
  • Each mask, wig, and costume must be easily seen at night.
  • Use battery-powered lights for jack-o-lanterns, not candles.
  • Keep decorations away from sources of heat, such as exposed bulbs and open flames.


  • Start holiday cooking with a clean stove and oven.
  • Keep kitchen clutter and loose clothing away from the stove's heat.
  • Turn pot handles in, away from a child's reach.
  • Use pot holders to prevent burns.
  • Never throw water on a grease fire. Instead, cover the burning pan with a lid.
  • Keep all appliances in good working order.
  • Never overload electrical outlets. Unplug appliances when not in use.
  • Never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Keep Thanksgiving decorations away from sources of direct heat.


  • Make sure your Christmas tree is fresh. Shedding needles is a sign of a dry tree.
  • Keep your tree fresh by placing it in a stand that holds water.
  • Make sure artificial trees are flame-retardant.
  • Never smoke around the tree or flammable decorations.
  • Place trees away from direct sources of heat.
  • Never place a tree so that it blocks an exit.
  • Only buy electric lights that are approved by a national testing lab.
  • Never decorate metal trees with electric lights.
  • Always unplug the lights before going to bed.
  • Never run electrical cords through doorways and under rugs.
  • Keep candles in sturdy holders and never place them near combustibles, such as curtains.
  • Avoid hanging stockings near an open flame.
  • Never burn paper in a fireplace. This is a major cause of chimney fires.

New Year

  • At a party, check to be sure the exits are clear.
  • Never let friends drink excessively. Alcohol affects judgment and coordination.
  • Check under furniture and cushions for smoldering cigarettes.