Did you know that the National Fire Protection Agency reported that between 2007 and 2011 US fire departments responded to an average of 230 Christmas tree house fires a year, which led to over six deaths, 22 injuries, and over 18 million dollars worth of property damage? Believe me, this is one holiday fire safety lesson you don’t want to miss.
Here are the top 5 holiday fire safety tips that will help keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season
Fire Safety Tip #1: Chimney Fires
A lot of times this time of year, families will get together and cozy up by a nice, warm fire. Who wouldn’t? But what you should know is you might want to consider cleaning out your chimney. A lot of times throughout the year, debris has fallen in through the chimney, whether it’s spiderwebs, leaves, even birds that have made a nest.
But that’s not your only issue that can cause a fire. A lot of times, from years and years of buildup, the soot from actual log burning fires or even those fake logs will start to accumulate on the walls of your fireplace, almost practically caking it on. And as that gets thicker and thicker and thicker, it now becomes a potential fire hazard that could send your house up in flames. So what you might want to consider is cleaning out your chimney at least once a year
Fire Safety Tip #2: Christmas Lights
Now as beautiful as these are, a lot of times people want to decorate their houses from head to toe with them. We love them, kids love them, they make your house look great. When you put them up all season long, they’re in the elements. They’re in water, rain, snow, and then you package them up year after year after year. And what can happen is the wires can get damaged over time. So what you want to do is, before you hang them up, go through your strands, make sure you have no exposed wiring. And if you do, throw it away, get a new strand so that way at least your house is safe
And what you definitely want to make sure is that you don’t overload your circuit breakers. I’ve seen it too many times where you plug in too many into a power source that’s not equipped to handle that much wattage.
Fire Safety Tip #3: Candles
A lot of times people will use these in their decorations, whether it’s to make the house look warm and cozy or even to give the house a beautiful scent. A lot of times you’ve got to understand, though, this is an open flame and it’s the biggest fire starter in any holiday season. What you want to do is, if you are going to decorate with these, you definitely don’t want to put them somewhere where there’s a lot of dry items like Christmas wrapping, even your Christmas tree. You want to make sure the placement is secure so they can’t topple over, and you want to keep them at a distance that’s free from any pets or any children that could potentially knock them over. And definitely, before you go to sleep tonight, you want to make sure you blow it every single candle out.
Fire Safety Tip #4: Cooking
When it comes to cooking this holiday season, there’s nothing we love more than trying all the amazing foods that people cook, whether it’s turkeys, cakes, pies, anything you can imagine. With that being said, you’re going to have a lot of families all coming together and all chipping in where you have little kids running around, adults. Everyone’s over this. So you have to be mindful. One is that your cooking area is cleaned. Over the years, caked-on oil will then start forming a sludge. If that does occur behind here where you can’t see, that will catch on fire.
As well as the hot oil that’s coming off of the frying pans with any little kids running around, you have to be mindful that that doesn’t get tipped over. And put your handles in instead of having them hang out. So make sure you’re very cautious this holiday season that you and your families don’t get burned by the hot oil or the flames, and always keep your eye on your stove. If you do have an active open flame, with as many people that come running in and out, the last thing you need is a cloth being dropped onto your fire that can spread faster than you could blink an eye at. So please make sure you watch your stove.
Fire Safety Tip #5: Christmas Tree
Nothing says the holidays more than a beautiful Christmas tree. It’s the staple of every Christmas. But along with that means you also have a potential fire hazard sitting in the middle of your house. A lot of times, these Christmas trees are cut weeks before you even purchased it. And even after you purchased it, it’s already drying out. So you want to make sure the catch basin at the bottom is filled with enough water. The last thing you want is dry needles falling all over the place. If that does happen, that means your tree is really dry and you have the potential for a fire hazard.
Along with that, make sure you keep it at least three feet from any heat source like a heater, fireplace, candles. And if you do these fire safety tips, not only will you be safe, you’ll enjoy more holidays to come.
Allied Restoration is certified and ready to assist, even during the Holidays to get you back into your home safely! You can visit our Fire Damage Restoration page for more information.
From everyone at Allied Restoration, we wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas. Be safe, and have a happy holiday.