Safety Tips to Keep Your Holidays Free of Fire this Year
The holidays are upon us! This magical time of the year means getting together and celebrating with family and friends, having fun, and creating memories. The only way to ensure that those memories are all positive, however, is to follow best practices for fire safety throughout the entire season. Many home fires occur around the holidays, but there are steps that can be taken to avoid disaster. Here’s a look at our professional fire safety tips for the winter holidays and beyond.
Thanksgiving and Christmas bring many families together in the kitchen. While preparing delicious feasts for your loved ones, though, you could end up fighting a stove fire if you aren’t careful. Always make sure that anything flammable – whether it’s a printed recipe or a potholder – is kept at a safe distance away from your burners. Double and triple check to ensure that your burners and your oven have been turned off once they are no longer in use. It’s always a good idea to have a properly rated fire extinguisher available in your kitchen in the event of a fire. Remember – grease fires cannot be fought with water, as this will make the problem worse. Time to grab some baking soda and give it a toss!
For most homes that celebrate the holiday, the Christmas tree serves as the centerpiece of their holiday decorations. Unfortunately, dry Christmas trees are a fire hazard and can engulf an entire room in flames in just 30 seconds. If your family has chosen to put up a real Christmas tree this year, it’s very important to pick a freshly cut evergreen and water it on a daily basis. If possible, you might consider purchasing an artificial tree for added safety.
Many homes make use of lit candles throughout the holiday season. Both Christmas and Hanukkah celebrate with the use of light in their own way, and it’s very important that you practice safety when making use of candles with an open flame. Be sure to always keep a minimum of one foot of clearance between a candle and any flammable object, and always place candles on a flat surface that cannot tip over. Never leave an open flame unattended, and be sure to double check that all candles have been completely extinguished before retiring for the night.
It just wouldn’t be the holiday season without strings of colorful lights adorning our windows, roofs, landscapes, and even our home’s interiors. In order to ensure that the lights are safe and won’t cause a spark that could lead to a fire, it’s wise to inspect each strand and bulb prior to hanging. Throw out any lights with frayed electrical cords. Verify that any lights being used inside the home have been rated for indoor use, and take time to ensure that your extension cords and electrical outlets are in good condition. Finally, avoid hanging lights with staples or nails that could cause damage to the cords and lead to a fire. The smarter choice is to make use of UL clips, which are specifically designed for safety.
With the temperatures dropping and your loved ones gathering together, the holiday season is the perfect time to light a fire in your fireplace. Before doing so, however, it’s in your best interest to have your chimney cleaned out, as excess soot and buildup can lead to safety hazards. Make use of a fire screen wherever possible in order to minimize floating embers and prevent children and pets from getting too close to the open flame. Always make sure that a fire is fully extinguished before leaving the premises or retiring for the night.
Following these safety tips is the best way to avoid dealing with a fire in the coming months. In the event that your home is impacted by a fire this holiday season, however, you are not alone. The team at Abbotts Fire & Flood is ready to help you with any necessary repairs right away so that you can get back inside of your home quickly and enjoy the season. Give us a call to learn more today.