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While relaxing and enjoying the holidays with family and friends, it’s important to dedicate a little bit of mindfulness to fire safety, and take precautions to prevent accidents involving candles, lights and Christmas trees.

Over the past five years, there have been roughly 250 house fires, 14 civilian deaths, and $13.8 million in property damage due to unsafe use of holiday lights, candles, trees and other holiday decorations.

To help ensure a fire-free holiday at your home, the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety has issued some holiday fire safety tips. Please keep these in mind as you celebrate the holidays.

Prevent Christmas Tree Fires:

· Select a fresh, green tree with branches and needles that bend but do not break

· Always keep the tree in water

· Keep the tree away from heat sources

· Limit display of interior live trees to two weeks

· Recycle at the curb. Never in your fireplace or stove

Maintain Holiday Lighting:

· Pre inspect all strands and plugs; replace frayed insulation and damaged sockets

· Use UL- or CPSC-approved lighting

· Don’t use more than three joined strands of lights

· Pre-test strands away from flammables before using

· Check them periodically, and never leave unattended

Use Caution with Holiday Decorations and Candles:

· Use decorations labeled "flame retardant" or "non-flammable"

· Keep decorations away from heat sources

· If possible, use candles only for decoration, and do not light them

· If you do light candles, place them on stable surfaces away from other flammables

· Never leave home with candles burning –NJ Division of Fire Safety

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