The holiday season is right around the corner. Decorations have been hung, Christmas party plans have been made, and the holiday shopping rush has begun.
With the festive vibe going around during the holiday season, many can easily forget about fire prevention. Christmas trees, decorations, and parties can cause a house fire if precautions aren’t taken. In fact, experts consider these decorations fire hazards, especially if installed incorrectly or placed near other fire hazards. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas tree fires caused an average of USD$10 million in property damage, 12 injuries, and two deaths between 2015 and 2019.
Based on these statistics, fire safety must be the top priority of every household, especially during the holiday season. With a few fire safety precautions, it is easy to maintain safety and protect your home from fire. Celebrate this holiday season safely with these safety tips for the holidays.
Fire Safety Hazards
1. Cooking and Baking
A traditional holiday gathering wouldn’t be complete without a feast. However, take the necessary precautions against kitchen fires while cooking and baking. This includes keeping kids and combustible items, such as plastic bags, pot holders, and towels, away from the stove and oven.
In addition, one of the most common examples of fire hazards in the kitchen is oily spillages, which is why it’s necessary to always clean as you go.
2. Christmas Tree
Natural and artificial trees can both cause fires. Natural trees dry out quickly and can catch fire. Likewise, if heat sources are too close to artificial trees, they can also catch fire. You can prevent these dangers by watering natural trees daily and keeping all heat sources at least 3 feet away from your trees.
Many Christmas tree fires can be linked back to the lights themselves. So, before stringing them up, ensure every set of Christmas lights works, and only connect three sets of lights in a single outlet. Experts recommend that you use a power strip instead.
There is no better way to warm up during the winter holidays than with the light and warmth of a fireplace. Just be sure to keep flammable items at least three feet away from the flames, including wrapping paper, rugs, and clothing. Utilize a fire screen to prevent logs and embers from spreading. Remember to ensure that all embers are completely extinguished before retiring for the night.
Be cautious around holiday candles. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Winter holiday fire facts – NFPA candles are responsible for more than one-third of all holiday fires. Candle fires typically start when flammable objects, such as furniture, curtains, or decorations, come too close to the flame.
There are some practical ways to prevent fire caused by candles:
- Place the candle in a solid candleholder to prevent it from tipping off.
- Position the candles at least three feet away from anything that can catch fire.
- Ensure that you extinguish candles before leaving the room or retiring to bed.
Safety Tips For the Holidays
Ensure that all smoke detectors are operational.
With family and friends spending more time at your house during the holidays, now is the ideal time to inspect your smoke detectors. If smoke alarms are over ten years old, you should replace them. Remember to install working smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside all sleeping spaces. Test your fire alarms to ensure they will alert you and your family in the event of a fire, providing you with the crucial seconds you need to escape safely.
Make sure that everyone knows what to do during a fire.
Develop and practice a home fire escape plan with all the household members, and ensure that someone assists young children, elderly adults, and anyone else who may require assistance to flee. Once outside, remain outdoors and contact 911 from a cell phone or a neighbor’s residence.
Be cautious when you cook.
One of the leading things that cause fires is unattended cooking. Stay in the kitchen while cooking, especially when oil or high heat is involved. Cover a pan with a tight-fitting lid to smother the flames, and turn off the heat if a pan catches fire.
Use extension cords with caution.
People frequently use extension cords for the additional string of lights or the Santa Claus who dances in the corner. It is a worthwhile safety precaution to use extension cords for temporary connections only. Ensure that cords are never placed beneath rugs, as the wear and tear might harm the cord and make it susceptible to causing a fire.
Urge smokers to smoke outdoors.
Smoking irresponsibly is the most significant cause of deadly fires. If smoking is permitted indoors, use large, deep ashtrays that cannot be tipped over and ensure that cigarette ends are properly extinguished. However, it’s best to always keep the smoking done outside.
Provide space for heaters.
When using a space heater to keep the chill at bay, remember to keep it at least one meter away from drapes, furniture, holiday decorations, and other flammable items.
During the holiday season, from Thanksgiving until New Year’s, it’s time to celebrate and indulge in long-established holiday traditions. Gathering around the table, we feast, celebrate with relatives and friends, and create new memories to cherish forever. However, should a fire happen, these memories will be ones of pain and grief rather than happiness and joy. To ensure your memories of the holiday season are always festive and to prevent fires, follow the tips outlined in this article and enjoy a safe holiday season.
Ensure the safety of your home and your loved ones by taking the necessary precautions to prevent a fire from ruining your holiday celebrations. Knowing the fire safety hazards that might cause such tragedies means you can identify ways to prevent fires.
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We at Kelly’s Dry Cleaners take fire damage restoration in Farmington, NM, seriously. While it’s best to prevent fires, it can happen to the best of us. And if it does happen to you and your clothes and other valuable fabrics get stains from the fire and soot, rest assured that our team of experts will do their best to restore your garments for you. Call us now to learn more about our fire damage restoration services.