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Monday, January 24, 2022

Fire Prevention 24-7 – Keep your holidays from going up in flames


With the holidays here, the Naperville Fire Department wants to help reduce your risk of fires and other hazards. First and foremost, please be sure to test your smoke and CO alarms to be make sure they are in working order.

For most of us, the holiday season represents a time for family festivities and good cheer. What few of us consider is that the holiday season is a time when there is an increased risk of home fires. Many households engage in holiday activities that serve as some of the leading causes of U.S. home fires, including cooking. Christmas trees, candle usage and holiday decorations also significantly contribute to the seasonal causes of home fires. Add to that the hectic nature of the holidays, when people are trying to accomplish multiple tasks at one time, and the chance for home fires grows even further.

As everyone gets busier during the holidays, we often become rushed, distracted or tired. That’s when home fires are more likely to occur.

Fortunately, with a little added awareness and some minor adjustments to holiday cooking and decorating, the season can remain festive and safe for everybody. By taking some preventative steps and following simple rules of thumb, most home fires can be prevented.


Stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food and keep anything flammable away from the stovetop. Set a timer to remind yourself that you are cooking.


December is the peak month for home candle fires so be sure not to keep them too close to flammable items. Consider using flameless candles, which are becoming very popular. Keep your traditional candles at least 12” away from flammables and blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed.


Needles on a fresh tree don’t fall off when touched. Add water daily. Make sure the tree is 3 feet away from any heat source. Check your lights for the label of an independent testing lab and don’t connect more than 3-5 strings of lights. And turn the lights off when you go to bed!

The holidays can quickly turn from joyful to tragic when a fire occurs. By taking simple precautions, people can avoid potential fire hazards, and make this time of year a healthy and happy one. Stay safe, stay warm and happy holidays to you and yours, from the Naperville Fire Department!

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Soraya McLaughlin
Soraya McLaughlin is the Naperville Fire Department Community Education Specialist. Contact her via email at mclaughlins@naperville.il.us.

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