Be Fire Safe During the Holiday Season!


New Hampshire State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan and the New Hampshire Association of Fire Chief’s President and New London Fire Chief Jason Lyon urge everyone to be safety conscious throughout the holiday season.  With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the increased cooking activity, the use of holiday lighting, candles and other decorations pose an even greater potential for fires and fire deaths. As of November 20th, 6people have already died in New Hampshire fires this year. 

New Hampshire State Fire Marshal Degnan joins Chief Lyon in suggesting the following safety tips to ensure a safe and happy holiday season:


  • Pay attention while cooking, especially when using oils and/or grease.
  • Cooking Appliances should be kept clean of grease build-up, which can easily ignite.
  • If a fire should start inside your oven, turn off the heat and leave the door closed to cut off the fire’s air supply.
  • Always have a lid handy to cover and extinguish a small pan grease fire.
  • Create a three foot “Child Free Zone” around the stove.
  • Keep pot handles turned to the inside so they won’t be pulled or knocked over.
  • Check stove & other appliances before going to bed or leaving your home to make sure that all the units are left in the “Off” position.
  • With the increased popularity of deep frying turkeys, NFPA and the National Burn Foundation  warn consumers & discourage the use of turkey fryers. Tests have shown that many of the fryers have a risk of tipping over, overheating or spilling hot oil, leading to fires and/or serious burns. The suggested alternative is to have a commercial professional prepare the turkey.


    • Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets.
    • To avoid overloading electrical outlets, do not link more than three light strands unless the directions indicate it is safe.
    • However tempting, it is not recommended to leave your lights burning overnight or while you are away from home.
    • Before placing your tree in the stand make a fresh cut on the base of the trunk.
    • Make sure the tree is a least three feet away from any heat source and is NOT blocking an exit.
    • Be sure to add water daily.


    • If you choose to use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down.
    • Never leave lit candles unattended.
    • Lit candles should not be placed on or near your Christmas tree or near anything that can burn.
    • Young children can be fascinated with a burning flame, so be sure candles are not in reach of curious hands.

    Chief Lyon suggests, “Now is a great time to make sure your smoke alarms are in working order and to review your home escape plan so that if in the event of a fire, everyone in your household knows how to get out quickly and safely.”  Fire Marshal Degnan adds, “For even greater protection, consider installing a residential fire sprinkler system, which actually stops the spread of fire, protecting lives and property.”

    The New Hampshire State Fire Marshals Office and your local Fire Chiefs would like to wish you a very safe and happy Holiday Season and encourage you to practice fire safety at home and away every day.

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