Statistics show that the incidents of home fires and electrical accidents typically increase during the winter holiday season. To combat this, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is launching its annual holiday safety campaign by providing tips to help consumers prevent household fires and accidents caused by improper cooking, heating, and holiday decorating practices.

“According to the National Fire Protection Association, 860 home fires are caused by holiday decorations, while an additional 210 home fires are caused by Christmas trees per year,” said ESFI President Brett Brenner. “Taking preventative measures when cooking, heating, and decorating can help prevent fires while you enjoy this festive time of year.”

ESFI’s website,, offers a variety of free-to-share resources that can be shared with your family, your workplace, and throughout your community. Follow these steps to help ensure your safety during the winter holidays:

Decorating Safety
• Twenty-five percent of holiday fires are caused by electrical decorations. Never leave these on while sleeping or away from home.
• When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness and be sure to water your tree daily until it’s properly disposed of.
• When decorating, use new technologies like LED lights, automatic on/off timers, and smart devices.
• Never leave an open flame, including the fireplace or candles, unattended.
• Keep young children and pets away from holiday lights, electrical decorations, and extension cords to prevent electrical shock and burn injuries.
• Use electrical decorations and lights only for their labeled purpose, indoor or outdoor. Don’t use indoor decorations outside, as water and electricity should never mix.
• Keep all decorations three feet away from heat sources, including space heaters and fireplaces.
• Carefully inspect decorations before use. Crac