Keep your holiday decorations safe this season

Battery-powered candles are the safest choice for candles.

During the winter months, lights and candles get lit to brighten up our homes for the holidays. Unfortunately, this is also the time of year when the fire department responds to more fires involving candles and holiday lights.

Be mindful of your candles and festive lights this holiday season and take a few steps to ensure your holidays are joyful and safe.

Be Safe with Candles

More than half of all candle fires start when combustible materials (such as drapes, clothing, and bedding) are too close to the candle. December is the peak month for candle fires and roughly 1/3 of all candle fires started in the bedroom.

Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.

If you use candles:

  • Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep.
  • Put candles in sturdy metal, glass, or ceramic holders.
  • Place lighted candles where they won’t be knocked over by children, pets or anyone else.
  • Keep burning candles away from items that can catch on fire such as furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, etc.
Be safe with your holiday lights

How to handle those holiday lights

  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets for both indoor and outdoor lights.
  • Limit connecting of holiday lights to 3 strands.
  • Do not use frayed, broken or worn string lights.
  • Use low wattage mini lights at 2.5-watts or energy efficient LED bulbs, which operate at a cool-to-the-touch temperature.
  • Always unplug tree lights before leaving home or going to sleep.

And finally, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are working. To learn more about the Seattle Fire Department’s free smoke/CO alarm program visit us online or email fireinfo@seattle.gov or call 206-386-1337.

The Seattle Fire Department wishes you very safe and happy holidays!