Massachusetts Home Insurance: Holiday Prevention Tips

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), traditional decorations and rituals can present some unique fire hazards in the home. The NFPA says that, when combined, the Four C’s: “Christmas trees, candles, chimneys and children” – can be a serious fire risk.

  1. Christmas Trees- are the cause of 300 home fires every year. The NFPA cites three major reasons: electric malfunctions, heat too close to the tree and children playing with matches, candles or fireplaces near the tree. We recommend using lights listed by an industrial laboratory like Underwriter Laboratory and to “avoid the octopus.” Never overload an outlet and keep the tree at least 3 feet from heat sources like fireplaces and radiators.
  2. Candles- half of home fires begin because an item is left near a lit candle (NFPA). We suggest using candle holders that will not tip over and maintaining a safe distance from combustibles.
  3. Chimneys- removing buildup from chimney walls will help to prevent a chimney fire and allow jolly old St. Nick to slide down the chimney with a bag full of gifts. Have your chimney cleaned annually by a licensed professional annually.
  4. Children- are one of the most unpredictable risks for winter fires because they’re drawn to lights and candles which get extra use during the holidays. Check your house to see what might attract a child’s attention and then discuss the risk with the child. keep light strands and power cords out of the reach of children and teach them to alert an adult if they see matches or lighters.