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Top 6 Holiday Fire Hazards

Following practical safety tips for the holidays means everyone can safely enjoy Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, and other seasonal celebrations.

Preventing fires on your commercial property this holiday season starts with identifying hazards:

Indoor Decorations

Live Christmas trees and menorahs are beautiful and create a warm holiday ambiance few can resist. But remember that dry Christmas trees can easily catch fire, and decorations that use candles can tip and start a blaze. To avoid these disasters, water the tree daily until you take it down, and consider investing in electric menorahs and kinaras.

Indoor holiday lights also pose a significant fire risk, as 1 in 5 Christmas tree fires starts with light strands. Prevent this catastrophe using only UL-approved indoor lights and ensure the cord isn’t worn or frayed. Be sure to use a safe number of connected strands and only have the lights on during business hours when someone is in the building.

Outdoor Decorations

Outdoor light displays showcase your holiday spirit and bring passersby joy. Be certain the lights and extension cords are manufactured for outdoor use and keep them away from snow or standing water. Avoid damaging a cord’s insulation by ensuring it’s not pinched in a door or window or placed under furniture.

Overpacked Outlets

It’s tempting to overdo it when stringing up colorful lights. However, be careful not to overcrowd outlets, as electrical malfunctions, shorts, or arc faults, can cause a fire. Consider installing Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets to detect and automatically shut down an arcing circuit.


Most candle fires occur within the month of December. Use LED artificial candles whenever possible, but if you’re burning real candles, keep them at least 1 foot from flammable materials, and always place them on a holder or dish. You should never leave lit candles unattended.

Flammable Gift Wrap

Who doesn’t love receiving a gift wrapped in festive paper? Many decorative wraps, though, can easily catch fire. Keep a trash bag handy during gift opening so the paper can be properly disposed of.


Fireworks are just as popular on New Year’s Eve as on the Fourth of July. However, they represent a real danger when mishandled. If you set off fireworks to celebrate the new year, choose a location away from buildings and trees and ensure spectators stay well back. Better yet, leave the job to the professionals so everyone can safely enjoy the firework show.

Enjoy the Holiday Season Safely

It’s often said that the safest fire is the one that never happens. The team at Unifour Fire & Safety understands the potential fire risks associated with this time of year. We urge you to take simple precautions to protect your business, employees, and customers.

For more information on how to prevent holiday season fire hazards or to learn about all our commercial fire protection solutions in the Southeast, contact Unifour Fire & Safety online or call 866-511-5540 today.