Fire Safety Tips

Candle Safety Tips
Candles give a pleasant, festive air to the holidays, but can be dangerous when not used properly.Candles should be on stable, uncluttered surfaces, away from edges and with nothing above them.
  • Do not place candles within 1 foot of anything flammable, like curtains, furniture, bedding or paper. Pay special attention around holiday decorations.
  • Candles should be in holders that are stable, sturdy, non-flammable and can collect any dripping wax.
  • Trim candle wicks to 1 quarter of an inch.
  • Do not leave candles burning when you leave a room.
  • Do not let children play with candles.
Red Candle Burning
Christmas Tree Safety
  • If you have a live Christmas tree, be sure you keep it well-watered. A dry tree is tinder, just waiting to burn. A well-watered, green tree is much less likely to burn.
  • If you get an artificial tree, look for 1 marked "fire-resistant".
  • Keep trees, especially live ones, away from heat sources. Heat dries live trees quickly.
  • Make sure light sets are in good condition, with no fraying or exposed wires.
  • Turn out all lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
Electric Lighting Safety
  • Look at each string of lights carefully. If any are cracked or damaged, buy new ones.
  • When you buy new lights, look at the box for a label that shows they have been tested for safety, such as ETL, MET, CSA, or UL.
  • Do not plug in too many things at 1 time. Use a surge protector.
  • Unplug all holiday lights when you go to sleep or leave home.
  • Plug outdoor decorations into outlets protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) to prevent shock.
  • Do not put electrical cords under rugs. Try to keep them away from places people walk.
  • Automatic lighting timers can be used to ensure that lights are not left on by mistake. These are available for both indoor and outdoor use.
These were provided by the City of Falls Church Building Safety Division.