Process Safety Beacon: Take Safety Home for the Holidays | AIChE

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Process Safety Beacon: Take Safety Home for the Holidays

Process Safety Beacon



Several holidays are celebrated at the end of the calendar year.

Bodhi Day, Boxing Day, Christmas, Gita Jayanti, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year, and Ōmisoka are some of the many holidays that are celebrated at the end of the calendar year. Often, employees take vacation time to spend these days with their families. Holidays may involve exchanging gifts with family and friends.

As the holidays approach, we can become very busy with preparations — buying gifts, cooking, cleaning, and decorating. It is important not to let the excitement of the holiday season overtake the safety of our family, friends, and homes.

risk of fires

The risk of house fires increases during the holidays.

Did You Know?

  • The National Fire Protection Association reports that holiday decorations cause more than 770 home fires every year.
  • Electrical wiring or lighting equipment was involved in almost half of home holiday tree fires. Nearly 20% of holiday tree fires were started by decorative lights (
  • Many holiday traditions involve candles. Candle fires peak in December and January, with 22% of all candle fires occurring in these two months alone.
  • Some holiday traditions have special decorations that are only used for that holiday. Decorations can degrade during storage.
  • Installing decorations might require the use of extension cords or multiple wall outlet adapters, which can pose electrical and trip hazards.
  • Fireworks are also a part of some holiday celebrations. Use extreme care with them — they are very dangerous!

What Can You Do?

  • Use lights that are properly rated for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Inspect all wiring used for holiday decorating and avoid overcrowding a single outlet source. Replace any decorations that have worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
  • Take extra care when using candles for decoration or symbolic purposes. Battery-powered candles avoid potential ignition sources.
  • Water your live holiday tree every day. Trees too close to a heat source cause one in every four winter fires.
  • Blow out lit candles and turn off all light strings and decorations when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • If you or a neighbor are using fireworks, watch for possible fires. Be prepared with a water hose or extinguisher.

Safety is the best gift for the holidays.

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