Holiday Safety Tips

Posted By Tiffany Hereda @ Dec 1st 2014 4:05pm In: Informational

Holiday Safety Tips  

It’s that time of year again!  We are all getting excited for the holidays…but did you know that 45% of home fires start with candles?  Or that on average 260 home fires begin with Christmas trees each year resulting in 12 deaths, 24 injuries and $16.4 million in property damage?  And roughly 5,800 people per year are treated in hospital emergency rooms for falls associated with holiday decorations! 

The Hereda Team at Berkshire Hathway Home Services wants to ensure you have a fun and SAFE holiday season.  So we have put together these holiday safety tips:

Artificial trees

  • If you buy an artificial tree make sure that the product specifies that it is fire resistant.

Fresh trees

  • The most important thing is to keep your tree fresh and not let it dry out!
  • Make sure to cut off a few inches of the trunk to expose the fresh wood.
  • Water your tree regularly.
  • Keep your tree at least 3 feet away from heat sources (fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, etc).


  • Before putting up your lights, check to make sure there is no broken sockets, frayed wires or loose connections.  If you find something like this, throw them out. 
  • Determine how many outlets are available and where they are located – plan your decorations accordingly. 
  • Don’t overload your outlets.  This could cause them to overheat and start a fire.
  • Once on the tree, don’t use any more than 3 light strands per single extension cord. 
  • Try LED lights.  LED lights use less energy and run cooler than incandescent lights 


  • Keep candles away from decorations and place where they can’t be knocked over. 
  • Never use candles near a tree. 
  • Always keep burning candles within sight and never leave them unattended.
  • Don’t leave pets unattended in rooms with lit candles.

Tree Decorations 

  • Avoid sharp or easily breakable decorations. 
  • Keep decorations that have small easily removable pieces higher on the tree away from reach of children. 

Wood burning Fires

  • Keep any flammable decorations, presents, etc. away from the fireplace. 
  • Make sure the flue is open before starting a fire. 
  • Keep the screen on. 
  • Make sure not to burn wrapping paper in the fireplace as a flash fire may result. 

General Tips

  • Make an emergency plan and PRACTICE IT in case of a fire during the holidays or any time of the year.
  • Don’t wear loose clothes near open flames (fireplace, stove, candles, etc)


Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!  As always, LET US KNOW if we can help you with your Real Estate needs either now or in the New Year.


Tips thanks to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Electrical Safety Foundation International.

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