Tis’ the Season …

Tis’ the Season …

House Fire Prevention

House Fire

Tis’ the season for cooking, heating, and lighting, three of the top 6 reasons for house fires. It makes sense, then, to freshen up on fire safety. Read the basics for fire prevention below and take steps this holiday season to keep the fire where it belongs, in the fireplace.

Cooking Fires

Cooking Fires

Did you know that cooking is the number one cause of house fires? Most of the fires are caused by a break in attention. When you are cooking make sure you are:

  • Sober
  • Present (not only present in the house, but the same room as the food cooking)
  • Aware (of fire hazards near the stove (oven mitts, dish towels, paper towels, Tupperware) and the fact that you are cooking. Set a timer to draw your attention back to the cooking food.)
  • Awake

Heating Fires


Temperatures are cool in the morning and not much warmer at night, requiring the use of heat. If your home heats unevenly, then you are likely using space heaters to help spread the warmth or a fire to cozy up a room. Whether you are using your HVAC, a space heater, or fireplace you need to follow certain precautions.

  1. Your HVAC and chimney need to be checked and cleaned once a year.
  2. Fireplaces need a sturdy screen in front of them.
  3. Ashes need to cool before disposing of them in a metal bucket.
  4. Space heaters need three feet of clearance in all directions when they are in use.

Lighting Fires

Christmas lighting

In December, we like to, not just light up a room, but the house, the tree, the menorah, and candles. With all this lighting it is important to remember:

  1. To have electrical work done by a certified electrician.
  2. To replace frayed wires and extension cords (most Christmas tree fires are started by an arc fault (electrical short that causes an intensely hot spark) which ignites a dry tree).
  3. To supervise lit candles
    1. Candles should be:
      1. Placed on a sturdy surface.
      2. Kept 1 foot away in all directions from Flammable material.
      3. Placed away from the reach of children and pets.
      4. Extinguished before leaving the room or going to sleep.

Special Note on Christmas Trees

Dry Christmas trees are extremely flammable. Every year we have a bonfire with our dry Christmas tree and the flames extend to the height of our house. Be sure to:

  • Pick a tree that doesn’t shed needles when you run your fingers down a pine branch.
  • Pick a tree that has bendable limbs as opposed to snappy limbs.
  • Put your tree away from heaters, fireplaces, and vents.
  • Water your tree every single day. There should be water in the tree pan every second of every day until you toss the tree.
  • Toss your dry tree as soon as you notice it is dry.

Watch this short YouTube video on Christmas Tree fires. A regularly watered tree is hard to light on fire, whereas a dry tree starts an inferno in less than a minute.

Christmas Tree Fire: Watered Tree vs. Dry Tree – YouTube

Barring all this information in mind, take the appropriate precautions and enjoy the fire, the cooking, and the lights.


Simple Insights. Leading Causes of House Fires and How to Prevent Them. Accessed 8 December 2023.



Recent Posts

title holiday picture-1

Happy Holidays?

Happy Holidays? “What are you doing for the Thanksgiving holiday?”, seems like an innocuous question, only for some it is a springboard into tears and

tree damage picture-1

Got Trees?

Got Trees? Fall weather can bring some gusty winds, and if you live in the woods, a little concern about potential tree damage. Even if

man looking at watch picture-1.jpg

Patience Is a Virtue This Fall

Patience Is a Virtue This Fall Fall officially starts September 23rd this year. Usually, the onset of Fall means it is time to prepare the