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Holiday home safety tips

By May 30, 2018April 9th, 2021Personal Insurance

We’re all about the holidays here at Oxford, but before you start stringing those lights up, lighting the candles and hanging the tinsel we have a few tips for keeping your family safe during this season. Taking a few minutes now could mean a safe, happy holiday celebration.

According to a study published by the National Fire Protection Association, 4 of every 5 Christmas tree fires occurred in December and January.

  • Electrical problems were factors in one-third of home Christmas tree structure fires.
  • 12% of home Christmas tree fires involved decorative lights.
  • Candles started 7% of home Christmas tree structure fires.
  • 2 of every 5 home Christmas tree fires started in the living room, family room or den.


First, there are a few basics that need to handle before those decorations come out of the attic.

  • Make sure your fire alarm is working properly. Test the alarm and check the batteries.
  • Have at least one carbon monoxide detector in your home.
  • Make sure your fire extinguisher is handy.


What would the holiday be without loads and loads of lights? While you’re untangling those lights here are a few things to check.

  • Use only lights that have been tested by nationally-recognized laboratories, to ensure they meet strict requirements.
  • Check outdoor lights for labels showing that the lights have been certified for outdoor use and only plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)-protected receptacle or a portable GFCI.
  • Look at each set of lights for damage. Discard decorative light sets with broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections.


The soft glow of candles is almost required during the holidays. Before you set out enough candles to blaze a path for Santa’s sleigh, here are some things to consider:

  • Keep burning candles in sight. Extinguish all candles before you go to bed, leave the room or leave the house.
  • Put burning candles on a heat resistant, stable surface. Chose a place where kids and pets cannot reach or knock over burning candles. Lit candles should also be placed away from flammable items – trees, decorations, curtains and furniture.   


A cozy, mesmerizing fire is just the ticket for the holiday. Let’s be safe with the fire, too.

Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers and other decorations from fireplace area.

  • Check to see that flue is open.
  • Keep a screen before the fireplace all the time a fire is burning.
  • Use care with “fire salts” which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals which can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation or vomiting if eaten. Keep away from children.

If any of these tips pose a question if your house is safe enough… call us at 330-315-3081, we’re always willing to help!