The holidays are festive and fun, but the time from mid-November until the kids go back to school after winter break in January comes with a few potential safety hazards.

Keep your home and family safe this season with these nine tips:

  1. Cook with care. During the holidays, it’s easy to get distracted while baking or cooking big meals. Pay extra attention to what you are doing—turn off all unused burners and ovens and keep sharp and hot objects out of the reach of young children. Also, never leave a dish in the oven to continue cooking when you go out.
  2. Skip the fried turkey. Fried turkeys taste great, but cooking one for the holidays can be dangerous and a potential fire hazard. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) considers gas-fueled turkey fryers so dangerous the organization discourages their use. Not only can hot, splattered oil burn anyone standing next to a fryer, but it can also ignite flammable objects and even overheat and catch fire on its own.
  3. Pick the right tree. Fresh, live pine trees are safest. Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched and keep it watered throughout the season so it doesn’t dry out and become a fire hazard. If you prefer artificial trees, purchase one labeled “Fire Resistant.” These are designed to resist fire and should extinguish quickly.
  4. Decorate with safety in mind. According to the NFPA, one in four Christmas tree fires are caused by placing the tree too close to a heat source. Make sure to set your tree up where it won’t be at risk. When decorating your tree, stick to non-combustible and flame-resistant materials, such as tinsel and artificial icicles made from plastic or non-leaded materials. Never put candles on a tree.
  5. Use the right lights. According to the NFPA, electrical problems with lights are factors in three out of 10 Christmas tree fires. To be safe, use only electric lights that are rated for Christmas trees and tested by a recognized laboratory (such as UL or ETL). Before putting the lights on the tree, check for frayed wires, cracked lamp holders, or loose connections that can start a fire.
  6. Take precautions outside, too. If you plan to string lights outside, many of the same rules apply. Before decorating, carefully inspect holiday light strings and discard any with frayed cords. When hanging lights, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal, including nails and tacks (use insulated tape or plastic clips instead).
  7. Never leave the lights on. Before you go to bed or head out for the evening, turn off the lights on the tree and outside. To make sure you don’t forget, you might want to invest in a timer that will automatically turn the lights on and off.
  8. Minimize the risk from candles. Candles play an important role in holiday ceremonies like Advent, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, but they are responsible for more than 11,000 fires per year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Stay safe by never leaving candles unattended while lit. Also, never let children handle matches, lighters, or candles.
  9. Put the fire out. Nothing beats a roaring fire for holiday ambiance, even in Scottsdale. If you light a fire in the fireplace, put it out before leaving the house or going to bed. Also be careful about what you put in the fireplace. It may seem like fun to burn used wrapping paper in the fireplace, but the paper can ignite suddenly and start a flash fire.

The holidays are a time for celebration with family and friends, and a great time to brush up on these safety tips.

For more information on how to celebrate the holidays in Scottsdale, feel free to reach out to us via email, phone, or the contact form below. Cheers to a happy holiday season and New Year!

Don Matheson
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255