Holiday Fire Safety

xmas fire

The holiday and festive season is a great time for dinner parties, candles, braais, and roasted marshmallows, but it is also a time to be extra cautious in and around the home.

Decorate safely

Christmas/fairy lights and other electrical decorations, such as that light up Santa, are a great way to add festive cheer, but can also be a fire hazard if not used safely. Always turn off your electrical decorations before leaving home or going to bed, and do not overload electrical outlets. Remember that extension cords are designed as temporary power sources – do not place them under rugs or where they can get wet in the summer rain.

Learn more about electrical fires.

Be careful with candles

While in South Africa most people don’t burn fires in the summer months, make sure that all Christmas stockings and other decorations are hung at a reasonable distance above any flames from fireplaces, candles, etc. Make sure all flames are put out before leaving the house or going to sleep.

Water fresh Christmas trees daily – this will keep them green and less likely to catch a light.

Cook safely

While the festive season isn’t festive without a Christmas lunch no house is a home without a kitchen. Half of all home fires start in the kitchen – and we need to be extra careful over the festive season as people tend to let their guard down when they are distracted or having a good time.

Never leave the kitchen unattended when cooking, especially when cooking with oil or grease. If fires do occur try to smother the flames by placing a lid on the pot or pan. If baking or roasting something in the oven stay within the house or turn the oven off if you need to leave.

Remember to never attempt to put out a fire if you do not have the proper know-how, training, or equipment. Learn more about when to use a fire extinguisher

Remember to keep the kids away from the kitchen, stove, and areas where hot food is being prepared. Children often get excited at this time of the year and may forget regular rules like “no running in the house”. It is best to keep them away from hazardous areas.

General safety

When having guests around over the festive season you need to make sure they are all safe –so make sure that they all know where the exits are.

Have your smoke alarms and/or fire sprinklers regularly serviced so that you know you can rely on them when you need them. Have fire extinguishers in your home. For more information on fire protection solutions visit:

Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children, and ask smokers to do the same.