Holiday Fire Prevention: The gift that keeps on giving & never goes out of style

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

17-1734 Fire SafetyChristmas trees, twinkling lights and baking cookies are just a few of the things that make the holiday season so special. Making memories with loved ones is what the holidays and this time of year is all about; however, a fire can easily turn a joyous occasion into a tragedy. On average, U.S. fire departments respond to more than 800 home structure fires caused by holiday decorations each winter according to the National Fire Prevention Association.

We want to assure your holiday season is merry and bright without having to deal with a fire to fight. Here are five fire prevention tips to keep in mind this holiday:

  1. Oh Christmas Tree – In the U.S., more than 200 structure fires are started because of Christmas trees annually. Remember to water your tree daily. Discard your tree when is becomes dry and needles begin dropping.
  2. Winter Warmth – For a little extra warmth during these cold winter months, space heaters are essential for many. To prevent a fire, never leave a space heater unattended or allow children and pets to get to close. Be sure to turn space heaters off when you leave the room or when sleeping.
  3. Hear the Beep Where You Sleep – Many lives have been saved thanks to both smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors. Be sure to place alarms on each level of the home, in each bedroom and near sleeping areas. Test alarms monthly and change the batteries each year.
  4. Caution in the Kitchen – Cooking equipment should never be left unattended and burners should be turned off if leaving the kitchen area. Kitchens should also be equipped with a fire extinguisher.
  5. Deck the Halls – While decorating, be sure to check for any frayed or pinched wires on warn decorations, keep flammable items at least 3 feet from open flames and heating sources, and avoid stringing together extension cords or running under rugs, carpets or furniture.

These fire prevention tips are examples of what participants learn while attending a Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® throughout North America. If you want to make a safe investment this holiday season, a modest donation of only $13 is all it takes to send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in North America. Donate TODAY by texting the word “safetyday” to 41444 or go to to contribute on-line.

Since 1995, Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® have reached more than 1.6 million individuals by providing the education, training and resources to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities. To learn more, call 888-257-3529 or visit

Photo: Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® help teach children important life-saving lessons, including how to properly use a fire extinguisher as demonstrated by this participant at a Safety Day in Nebraska.