Holidays are for celebrating family traditions and looking forward to the promises of the new year. It’s also a time for entertaining, decorating and cooking. In all the excitement, however, there’s one thing you must always keep in mind:


According to the National Fire Protection Association, December, January and February are the peak months for home fire deaths. Keep your home safe by making sure you:

  • Blow out all candles before you turn in

  • Check that candleholders are sturdy and candles are placed away from curtains

  • Keep chimneys clear of nests, leaves, and trash to ensure proper venting. Keep fireplaces clean

  • Install smoke alarms in every room. Test your smoke alarms frequently and change batteries as needed. Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.


Whether you choose fresh or artificial trees, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Purchase green, moist Christmas trees. Choose a tree with needles that bend, and check that the bottom is sticky with resin

  • Cut the bottom of the tree before setting the tree in its stand to expose new wood that will absorb water more easily. Check water levels daily

  • Keep trees away from fireplaces, space heaters, candles, overhead lights and radiators

  • Check that artificial trees are a fire-resistant and UL (Underwriters Laboratory) or FM (Factory Mutual) listed. This will ensure the tree meets specific safety standards


If you are making Grandma’s chocolate fudge or trying out a new chicken curry recipe, both novice and seasoned chefs must remember to:

  • Never leave cooking unattended

  • Check to make sure that children cooking with you are wearing short-sleeved, well fitted clothing
    Have young children concentrate on simple tasks, such as measuring ingredients, mixing, or decorating


Electrical gadgets can pose a safety risk. Operate all electrical appliances according to instructions and use common sense. Be sure to:

  • Turn off holiday displays and extra lights when you are away from your home.
    Use weather-resistant power cords and check outdoor electrical outlets for outdoor decorations

  • Make sure that decorations are fire-resistant and that the wiring is not frayed