Candles on wreath

Holiday Home Safety

December 5, 2023 | Tower Hill Insurance

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According to the National Fire Protection Association, one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles, and two of every five decoration fires happen because the decorations are placed too close to a heat source.

Although it’s easy to be distracted when rushing to finish holiday preparations for family and guests, always keep this in mind: Safety First! Poisoning and home fires can happen all too quickly, so stay alert for some of these common dangers.

  • Keep small ornaments or toys that may be easy to choke on out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Exercise caution when replacing button batteries in toys or decorations, and do not leave them easily accessible around children or pets. When swallowed, these batteries are dangerous.
  • Never burn anything other than logs in your fireplace. Wrapping paper and other packing materials can result in harmful fumes and may ignite creosote deposits in the flue.
  • Candles cause more home fires during the holidays than any other time of year, so don’t leave candles unattended, and never place them near flammable materials.

Instead of real candles, try those with timers, and make sure light cords are well secured and out of reach of children and pets. More important reminders … don’t overload circuits by connecting too many strands of lights, and never use decorations designed for the interior on the outside. For more safety tips, check out this holiday infographic from FEMA.

Your four-legged family members need to stay safe, too. Two holiday plant favorites, holly and mistletoe, are especially dangerous for pets. Including additives when watering the Christmas tree may be poisonous if your furry friend is tempted to drink from the tree stand.

Or, if your favorite feline likes to climb or loves to paw at the shiny ornaments, be sure the tree is properly anchored and the ornaments are not breakable or made of potentially toxic materials. To keep your pets safe at the holidays, review these helpful tips from the ASPCA and The Humane Society.