Don’t let fire ignite the holiday

Print Article

If a winter storm were to knock out power, our house would be a beacon of light. The man of the house is candle-obsessed.

Two of every five holiday house fires are started by candles, so it’s a wonder our house still stands. According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly half of decoration fires happen because something was placed too close to a heat source. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, they are more likely to be serious, especially by January when the tree has dried out.

The NFPA offers these holiday safety tips:


• Choose flame-resistant or retardant decorations.

• Keep candles away from other items, and never put one in a tree.

• Lights: Check and respect labeled indoor/outdoor uses. Replace strings with worn or broken cords, or loose bulbs. Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so cords aren’t damaged.

• Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

• Turn off all lights before going to bed.

Choosing a tree

• Look for fresh, green needles which don’t fall off when touched.

• Before placing in the stand, cut 2 inches from the base, and keep it at least 3 feet from any heat source, such as a fireplace, radiator, or heat vent. Don’t let it block an exit. Add water daily.


• Test smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.

• Keep children and pets away from candles.

• Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.

• Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.

• Ask smokers to smoke outside, and to keep their smoking materials with them, preventing access by children. Provide large, deep ashtrays, and wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.

After Christmas get rid of the tree quickly. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home, garage, or yard. Check this newspaper later for free tree recycling programs.

And please stay safe for the holidays.


Sholeh Patrick is a columnist for the Hagadone News Network who admittedly enjoys the ambiance of a candlelit room. Contact her at

Print Article

Read More Sholeh Patrick

Question is, who are you?

January 16, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press What began as an everyday greeting at a workout Sunday soon resulted in one of those consciousness-raising moments. Ironic, really; Peak Fitness is where one normally focuses on the body, not the min...


Read More

MLP: Drop eggcorns from yon tenterhooks

January 11, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press READ, people; read literature! Please, and urge others to follow suit (do the same, like a card game). So many commonly abused and misused phrases — which the Brits call eggcorns — are simply a matte...


Read More

Earthing’s great, even if it’s so obvious

January 09, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Ever shake your head at a “new” trend, because (a) it’s so obvious, and (b) it’s as old as dirt? Case in point: “Earthing” — the notion that we benefit from connecting with the earth. Walking barefo...


Read More

Adopt 10 financial resolutions

January 04, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Considering a New Year’s Resolution? Healthier habits and weight loss are probably the most common, and the topic of a recent column. Others resolve to be kinder or more patient, perhaps less stresse...


Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2018 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy