Roanoke Fire & EMS: Winter Holiday Safety Tips

Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together.  But, that also means a greater risk for fire.  

Two out of every five home decoration fires are started by candles.  Nearly half of decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.

Roanoke Fire & EMS have some tips that will help ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season. 


  • Be careful with holiday decorations.  Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant. 
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
  • Some lights are only for indoor OR outdoor use, but not both. 
  • Replace any string of lights with work or broken cords or loose bulb connections.  Read manufacturer's instructions for number of light strands to connect. 
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords to not get damaged. 
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors. 
  • Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving the house or going to bed.


  • Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles. 
  • Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to bed. 
  • Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stove top.
  • Ask smokers to smoke outside.  Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers.  Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding. 

Have a happy and safe holiday season.


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