The holiday season is a wonderful time of year—homes glowing in festive lights, busy kitchens and delicious food, and families gathering to celebrate. But the holidays also bring unique risks, from fire hazards to a greater likelihood of injury. 

This comprehensive guide offers invaluable holiday safety tips to keep the season joyful and accident-free. Following these tips will help protect your homes and loved ones while avoiding the hassle of insurance claims during the holiday season.

Let’s make sure that the only surprises this season are the gifts under the tree!

General Holiday Fire Safety

The holiday season is filled with warmth, figuratively and literally. Candles bring a festive glow; fireplaces offer comfort on chilly nights. But both lead to more significant risks of home fires, with roughly 156,00 fires occurring during the holiday season. 

By taking a few precautions, you can guarantee a safe, warm environment.

Candle Caution

Candles can elevate the ambiance of any room during the holidays. However, you must use them wisely:

  • Keep candles in stable holders and at a safe distance from flammable items.
  • Never leave candles unattended.
  • Consider battery-operated candles as a risk-free alternative, offering the same warm glow without the fire hazard.

Fireplace Safety

A roaring fireplace can be the heart of a home during the holidays. To enjoy it safely:

  • Keep the area around the fireplace clear of decorations and other flammable items.
  • Always use a screen to contain sparks, preventing them from flying out and causing potential fires.
  • Never leave a fire unattended; even embers can reignite. 
  • Fully extinguish the fire before heading to bed.

Check Your Smoke Alarms

The increased use of lights, candles, and cooking during the festive season makes it crucial to keep your home’s safety systems in check. Regularly test your smoke alarms to ensure they’re functional.

Holiday Cooking Safety

During the holidays, kitchens become the heart of celebrations in your home, from sizzling dishes to deep-fried turkeys. But more time spent in the kitchen means more chances for accidents.

For instance, 1600 cooking-related fires happen on Thanksgiving every year. That’s why it’s essential to prioritize safety while cooking up these festive meals, and these three tips will help:

Stay Attentive

One of the simplest yet most effective cooking safety tips is always paying attention. Never leave cooking food unattended, particularly when you’re frying or grilling. A momentary lapse can lead to overcooked food or, worse, a fire.

Safely Fry Turkey

Fried turkey is a holiday delicacy, but it’s also the primary culprit in Thanksgiving fires. Follow these safety precautions to avoid a disaster:

  • Always use fryers outdoors and set them up well away from structures or flammable materials.
  • Before you start frying, double-check that the turkey is completely thawed. Placing a frozen or partially frozen turkey in hot oil can lead to dangerous oil spills and potential fires.

Make a Child-Free Zone

Kitchens bustle with activity during the holidays, making it crucial to keep the space safe for little ones. Make a child-free zone in and around the cooking area. 

This precaution protects children from accidents like burns and allows the cook to focus on preparing meals without distractions.

Christmas Tree Fire Safety

Christmas trees are the centerpiece of many holiday celebrations, but they also pose serious risks. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that between 2016 and 2020, an average of 160 home fires per year began because of Christmas trees in the US. 

Tragically, these fires resulted in annual deaths and injuries. They also cause around $12 million in property damages every year. It’s a severe reminder of the importance of tree safety during the festive season.

Choose a Fresh Tree

A fresh tree is less susceptible to catching fire. To test its freshness, choose a tree with green needles that don’t break easily when touched.

Position Away From Heat

Place your tree at least three feet away from potential heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, and heaters.

Water Daily

A well-hydrated tree is vibrant and safer. Make it a daily habit to water your tree, reducing its fire risk.

Turn off Lights Before Bed

It’s easy to forget but vital for safety: always turn off the Christmas tree lights before heading to bed or leaving home. This small act can make a significant difference in maintaining a safe holiday environment.

Decorating and Ladder Safety

While decking the halls and decorating with festive lights is a cherished holiday tradition, it can also be dangerous. Last year, 17,465 people received treatment in emergency rooms due to holiday-decorating falls.

As we reach for those higher spots to string lights along the roof, we need to stay safe.

Use Sturdy Support

When using a ladder, it’s imperative to ensure it’s on firm and level ground. An uneven surface can lead to shaky ladders and potential falls, so take a moment to find that perfect spot before climbing.

Partner Up

Whenever you’re ascending a ladder, especially for holiday decorating, it’s wise to have a partner. Someone holding the ladder provides added stability and reassures you that you’re not alone if a problem arises.

hanging christmas lights on roof

Check Holiday Lights

Before hanging them up, take a few moments to inspect your holiday lights. Look for any signs of wear and tear, like damaged cords or loose bulbs. Doing so guarantees your lights work correctly and reduces the risk of electrical mishaps.

Stay Safe and Protected this Holiday Season with Gerety Insurance

As you enjoy the holiday season, remember that these festivities come with unique challenges and increased risks. Being prepared and staying vigilant will keep your celebrations merry and safe. 

As you face greater risks to your home and loved ones during the holiday season, you deserve to know you have a trusted partner looking out for you. At Gerety, we believe that insurance is more than policies; it’s about having that partnership. 

We’re not just another voice on the phone—we’re here to provide the personal attention you deserve. Whether you’re safeguarding your home, your loved ones, or your business, we’re here to be a partner in your protection. Request a quote today and celebrate this holiday season with peace of mind, knowing we’ve got your back.