Holiday Season Safety Tips

When the Holiday Season is in full swing, the La Grange Fire Department reminds the residents of La Grange to have a safe and merry holiday season! 

Holiday Decoration Safety

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), “carefully decorating your home can help make your holidays safer. Between 2015-2019, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 790 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees.”

Before decorating for the holidays, please review the tips below and remember to Deck the Halls with Fire Safety!

  • Be careful with holiday decorations. Make sure they are either flame retardant or flame resistant. 
  • Keep lit candles at least 12 inches away from decorations or flammable items.
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
  • Extinguish all lit candles and turn off all light strings/decorations before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Check to make sure your lights are rated for indoor use, outdoor use, or both.
  • Replace any light strands that have worn or broken cords and follow recommendations for the number of light strings you can string together.
  • If you have a real Christmas tree, make sure to check & fill water levels daily! It is not unusual for a tree to drink two gallons of water the first day it is in the stand.
  • Keep real Christmas trees away from heat sources as they can dry out quickly. 
  • Have and practice a home fire escape plan for your family and guests.

Holiday Cooking Safety

During the Holiday Season, many people work overtime in their kitchens. According to the National Fire Protection Association and National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) data, cooking is the leading cause of house fires and home fire injuries.

U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 166,100 home fires per year involving cooking equipment, that's an average of 455 home fires daily. Thanksgiving is the leading day for home fires involving cooking equipment, with four times the average number of fires reported. Ranges and cook-tops account for almost three of every five reported home fires involving cooking, with ovens accounting for 13%. 

When preparing food, please keep the following tips from the Illinois State Fire Marshall in mind:

  • Never leave food that you are frying, boiling, grilling or broiling unattended! If you leave the kitchen, even for a short amount of time, turn off the stove.
  • Frying a Turkey has become more popular in recent years. If you plan to do so, please review these helpful tips from the Illinois State Fire Marshall
  • Create a "Kid Free Zone" of at least three feet around the stove or anywhere you are preparing hot food or drinks.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove top.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you when food is ready. 
  • If there is a fire in the oven, keep the door shut and turn off the heat.
  • Smother small flames in a pan by sliding a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner and leave the lid over the pan while it cools.
  • If you have any doubt fighting a small fire, just get out! Call 9-1-1 or your emergency number from outside the home.