The holidays are a time of joy and fun. However, there are several hazards to avoid in order to have a safe and fire-free season.
Presents. Trees. Menorahs. There are so many symbols of cheer during the holiday season. Whatever you celebrate, it is likely that you have plenty of decorations and plans for the upcoming festivities. What no one wants to plan for is a potential house fire caused by holiday décor. We will outline some of the more common decorative items and how to use them safely.
Candles Cause The Most Holiday Fire Damage
The warm glow of candles is a holiday tradition. Whether you celebrate Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or Christmas, you most likely have candles incorporated in your festivities. However, candles are the most dangerous holiday decoration item, causing thousands of house fires and millions of dollars in damage every year.
If you feel the need to use candles when celebrating the holidays, you can use electric candles, which are far safer. If you insist upon using traditional candles, then you should do the following to ensure safety and prevent fire damage.
- Keep candles at least 6 feet away from any flammable material, including drapes, carpets, or paperss
- Keep candles out of the kitchen, especially when preparing meals. The potential for a grease fire is high in circumstances when candles are burning during cooking.
- Be sure to extinguish candles properly. Using a snifter to put them out would be ideal.
- Keep candles away from your Christmas tree. A natural tree is one of the most flammable items in the home during the holiday season.
Use an Artificial Christmas Tree To Avoid Fire Damage
Natural trees may give a pleasant aroma during the holiday season, and some families have a tradition of cutting down their own tree. However, a natural Christmas tree is one of the biggest fire hazards during the holiday season.
The natural wood and pine needles can easily ignite causing a massive fire in a short period of time. Artificial trees are far less likely to have this problem, and they even make some that have the pine scent everyone is used to.
Electric Lights Can Pose a Risk Of Fire Damage
The lights themselves are not necessarily the fire hazard, but the way they are plugged in can be. Do not overload outlets with more plugs, and it may be wise to invest in a surge protector if you plan on pulling a Clark Griswold this holiday season.
To be safe, avoid using flammable decorations such as crepe paper or other paper-based items near the lights. Heat from the lights can overheat the paper and cause a fire, especially on a Christmas tree.
Follow Safety Procedures When Cooking Holiday Meals
The kitchen gets extra use in many homes during the holiday season. Baking a turkey or pies in the oven are often the hallmarks that the season is upon us. However, these items can be a fire hazard if they are not prepared in a safe manner.
Be sure to have the proper baking dishes to avoid grease spilling over and igniting a fire in the oven or on the stove. Also, it is best to have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen just in case.