holiday fire safety tips
  • By Allan M Block Blogging Team
  • Posted December 22, 2018

Holiday Fire Safety Tips

The holiday season is in full swing, and with that comes unique fire safety issues to keep in mind. With a little mindfulness and some simple precautions, you can avoid potential hazards that could derail your holidays.

General safety tips

  • Have a fire extinguisher on hand, and familiarize yourself with how to use it.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets or “piggy-backing” electrically powered decorations.
  • Remove flammable items from areas surrounding heat sources or open flames.
  • Do not leave open flames unattended. Extinguish candles or fireplaces before leaving a room or going to bed.
  • Do not block hallways or doors with decorations. Emergency exits should also be free of obstacles.
  • Ensure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functional and that batteries are replaced.

Christmas trees

  • Water your tree daily. Dried out trees can engulf the room in flames within one minute, whereas flames in a well-hydrated tree will struggle to take hold.
  • Avoid placing your tree within three feet of heat sources, such as radiators or fireplaces.
  • Turn off the lights on your tree when leaving the house for extended periods of time, or when going to bed.

Decorative lights

  • Avoid using lights that have damaged cords or loose bulb connections. Do not use lights with empty sockets.
  • Use lights designed for the application you plan to use—indoor lights do not have the same weatherproofing as outdoor lights.


  • Consider using battery-operated flameless candles.
  • Place candles on sturdy surfaces, in candle holders that won’t tip over. Keep candles at least one foot from flammable items such as decorations or curtains. Never use lit candles to decorate your tree.
  • Keep hair and loose clothes away from the flame, especially while lighting your candles.


  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional on an annual basis.
  • Before lighting a fire, ensure that your fireplace’s flue is open and free from obstructions.
  • Do not burn wrapping paper, cardboard, packing materials, or other debris. Use only seasoned wood, and avoid using flammable liquids for fire-starting.
  • Use a fire screen to keep embers from leaving the fireplace.

A little preparation and some common sense with your decorations can help you avoid fire risks this holiday season, enabling you to focus on what really matters—your loved ones.

Warmest wishes for happy holidays from all of us at Allan Block Insurance!


For more information or answers to your insurance questions, contact us at Allan Block Insurance Agency,, located in Tarrytown, NY in the heart of Westchester County, a key business district near New York City.  We write auto, home, renters, condo, co-op, personal, business, life and group insurance for clients locally and in NYC, CT, NJ, PA, MA and many other states. The Professional Agency with the Personal Touch.