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Holiday Fire Safety

For many Americans, the holidays are the happiest time of the year as family is able to get together and take a break from work, enjoy a big dinner, and catch up on the latest news.

But despite our plans to have a great celebration, many experience disasters as the risk of fire damage is heightened this time of year. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), there are more than double the number of open flames on Christmas Day than any other day. But when the Christmas tree is the source of the damage, it won’t take long until the flames spread throughout the building materials and the rest of the home.

Emergency Fire Damage

When it comes to fire damage on the holidays, ServiceMaster Restoration Services is no stranger to the extent of the destruction that fires cause to homes and buildings. From terrorizing kitchens to fried electrical outlets, our technicians have not only seen it all but have restored these affected areas to their original conditions.

While experiencing a holiday fire can be one of the most traumatic life events, you can still depend on ServiceMaster Restoration Services to be there when you need it most. Available 24/7 in the Omaha, NE area, we will arrive with all necessary cleaning agents and equipment to restore the property structure and put your holiday plans back on track.

Holiday Fire Sources

While we can show up right away for fire damage restoration, we still hope that it never happens. In fact, the best way to prevent a holiday fire is to know what causes them; therefore, it is best to be aware of the potential sources to avoid such disasters for you and your family.

Check out these holiday fire safety tips to avoid becoming a part of this statistic.

Christmas Trees

Whether you decide to purchase a live or artificial tree, know that both have advantages and disadvantages. If you decide to go the artificial route, look for one with a label “Fire Resistant.” This doesn’t mean that it will never catch on fire, rather, the flames shouldn’t spread if one started.

If you chose to buy a live Christmas tree, it will certainly add more “life” to the experience, but be prepared for a lot of maintenance. But when searching for “the perfect one,” look for a fresh one. If the needles are difficult to pull from the branches and they are flexible when bending, it’s a good tree. The tree should also not lose many needles when tapping it on the ground.

When bringing the tree home, location is everything. Keep it away from all heated sources, including candles, radiators, the fireplace, and outlets with lots of wiring. Keep in mind that heated rooms can also quickly dry out the tree, so make sure that the bowl underneath is always filled with water. Finally, keep the tree out of foot traffic and from blocking any doorways. Other than that, enjoy your live tree!

Decorative Lights

Before putting up any lights, inspect them first. Throw out all light strings with cracked or frayed wiring and broken sockets. Keep the strings separated from eachother. Also check the extension cords and make sure that they are in good condition, but don’t put them outside if their packaging doesn’t say “for outdoor use.”

If you have ever seen the movie Christmas Vacation, don’t do what Griswold did by stapling each light string to the roof. Not only will it damage the wiring but it increases the risk of a fire. Lastly, don’t leave the lights up for too long after the holidays since they become prey for squirrels, raccoons, and other critters to chew on.

On the inside, never use electrical lights on a metallic tree as it can become charged from faulty lights, electrocuting anyone who touches a branch. Also never leave the house or go to bed with the lights on – surely you can tell what’s wrong with that picture.


Try to avoid using combustible materials like tinsel, garland, and plastic icicles. Keep all plastic, sharp, and breakable materials away from children. This includes small pieces that look like candy.

Keep candles away from the tree and other flammable materials. Use non-combustible holders and keep them in an area where they won’t be knocked over.

Wear gloves to avoid any irritations with spunglass “angel hair.” With artificial snow spray, you can also wear a breathing mask to avoid breathing in the harsh chemicals.


Fire salts can be neat, producing colored flames when thrown in. But they are still toxic when ingested, so be careful and keep them away from young children.

Do not remove any embers or ash while the fire is burning, and be sure to dispose of them in a metal container and take it away from the house.

Wrapping paper can be a pain to deal with after opening presents. But don’t throw them into the fireplace as the flames can quickly ignite.

Fire Damage Restoration

While there are many ways to prevent fires and accidents from occurring, it’s almost impossible to prevent them altogether. Because there are so many distractions and fire hazards during the holidays, flames can spur up and spread to be out of control as soon as they are noticed.

Despite these traumatic turn of events, ServiceMaster Restoration Services can provide some peace of mind to a ruined holiday. With 24/7 fire damage restoration services, our technicians will arrive within 3 hours of your initial call with all cleaning and restoration equipment needed to restore the affected building materials.

We can also restore personal contents. Anything from clothing, jewelry, and antiques to books, dishes, and grandfather clocks. Whether they are restored on your property or at our facility, we can return them to their original condition during the restoration and repair work on your home or building. Finally, you can look forward to returning to your holiday celebration with peace of mind knowing that your home is restored effectively and efficiently.

Holiday Fire Safety was last modified: November 27th, 2017 by ServiceMaster Restoration Services