How to Prevent Fires During the Holidays
Scrumptious dinners, flickering lights, and making merry are all hallmarks of the holiday season. However, this is also the time when your home is at high risk of burning down.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more residential fires happen in the end-of-year period than any other time of the year.
For this reason, fire prevention and safety should be on top of your priority list this holiday season. To help stay safe during this wonderful time of the year, consider the following tips.
Fire Damage Prevention Tips from Restoration Experts
Before the season fully kicks in, have the following fire prevention tips in mind:
1. Pay Attention to Your Festive Decorations
While Christmas trees and decorations are part of the festivities, they are also one of the major causes of holiday fires.
When decorating your house, test all cords and lights to ensure they are working properly. This is especially important if the decorative lights have been in storage for a long time. Faulty products should be disposed of and replaced with new ones. Also, you’ll want to hang the lights with clips instead of nails to reduce the risk of damaging the cords.
Place your Christmas trees (and any other seasonal plants) several feet away from any heat source. Before going to bed or leaving the house, ensure you turn off the decorative lights on the tree. Also, it’s important to water the tree daily to prevent it from being brittle and dry. Dry trees catch fire easily.
And, when the festivities end, get rid of the tree as soon as possible. Don’t leave it to dry out in your garage or shed.
2. Take Cooking Safety Precautions
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, unattended cooking is the leading cause of residential fires. And it’s clear to see why. With all the chaotic holiday preparation, it’s easy to neglect the food cooking on your stoves and oven.
As a rule of thumb, stay in the kitchen until everything is out of the oven or stove. Also, make sure that you invest in fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and fire sprinklers for your kitchen. If you are planning on deep-frying your holiday turkey, do it outdoors, on a flat surface at least 10 feet from the house.
3. Be Careful with Candles
Candle fires happen the most during the holiday season. To reduce the risk, set the candle several feet away from anything combustible. Also, set the candles on sturdy bases and cover them with hurricane globes.
Don’t leave a burning candle unattended, especially if you have kids and pets. Before going to bed, make sure all the candles are blown out.
If possible, consider other safer alternatives to candles like electric candles.
4. Don’t Forget About Matches and Lighters
An open flame is a serious fire risk when handled improperly. Keep matches, lighters, and other fire-starting materials away from kids. For guests who smoke, create a designated space outdoors where they can smoke and dispose of cigarette butts. It’s recommended to dampen cigarette butts before throwing them in the trash can.
5. Get Your Indoor and Outdoor Fireplaces Inspected
Have your chimney and fireplaces inspected by a professional before using it. This is especially important if you haven’t used them for months. Also, avoid using damp firewood on your fireplaces as they produce smoke which causes choking hazards.
If you are using space heaters to keep your house warm during the winter, make sure that they’re at least three feet away from items that can easily catch fire like clothing, beddings, furniture, and curtains. Unplug the appliance when you are done using it and don’t leave it unattended.
When using outdoor fireplaces, exercise caution. While gathering around the fire pit can be cozy, it can cause serious injuries if handled wrongly. Ensure that everybody is at least three feet from the fire, and other structures more than 10 feet. Be extra cautious during windy days as fire can quickly spread to unintended areas.
Call SERVPRO for Fire Damage Restoration
If you keep the tips in mind, you will be sure to enjoy your holidays with your family and friends without the fear of a fire disaster.
However, in the unfortunate event of fire damage in your home, you’ll need professionals to take care of the disaster. Doing it yourself is risky and time-consuming. At SERVPRO of Rutherford County, we have the right tools and equipment to handle any fire damage regardless of the size.