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Statistics reveal over a third of all house fire-related deaths occur during the winter months. Of these incidents, many involve mishaps with holiday decorations. Follow these five smart holiday fire safety tips to help reduce the chances you’ll experience a house fire during the holidays.

1.Never Overload Electrical Outlets

Before hanging exterior holiday lights, check over all the wires for damage and wear and tear. It’s important for holiday fire safety to only use electrical cords that are in good condition.

When you are deciding where to hang your lights, keep in mind that electrical circuits support a limited amount of power. Don’t string too many sets of lights together. A typical household circuit can hold 15-20 amps. Use this guide to determine how many of your lights a circuit can handle.

2. Attach Outdoor Lights Correctly For Holiday Fire Safety

Problems can arise when homeowners use staples or nails to apply exterior lights to the outside of doors and windows. The metal can puncture the cord itself and create an electrical hazard. Instead, use plastic clips that are specifically designed for hanging lights and are available at any home improvement store.

3. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Easily Accessible

This holiday fire safety measure can prevent small fires from spreading and causing extensive damage in the home. Make sure you keep one or more ready-to-use fire extinguishers available in case of an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the operating instructions and capabilities.

4. Place Holiday Trees Far From Heat Sources

Position holiday trees and wreaths well away from heating sources in the home. Keep these items at a safe distance from open hearths, space heaters, stoves, and candles to reduce the chance of heat coming into contact with flammable materials like pine needles, foliage, and ornaments.

5. Dispose of Dead Trees Promptly After The Holidays

Finally, another smart holiday fire safety tip is to dispose of cut trees in a timely manner. Tree branches dry out rapidly indoors and become a fire hazard, so dispose of them soon after the holidays end. Many municipalities offer tree collection services to assist homeowners with this process.

Enjoy a Happy And Safe Holiday Season

Implementing these five simple fire-prevention strategies helps safety-conscious households reduce the risk of house fires during the holidays and throughout the year.

Happy holidays from Outlook Home Inspections!