Spend the Holidays Worry-Free!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Family and friends are gathering together to eat amazing food and get in the holiday spirit! There is nothing else like it. But sometimes we are so caught up in the excitement of the holidays we can end up being distracted.
The USFA (U.S Fire Administration) reports that the risk of open-flame fires doubles on Christmas day. On New Year’s day, that number doubles again. Property loss during holiday fires is 34% greater than average, and the number of fatalities is nearly 70% higher.
No matter what holiday you celebrate, this season should be a time of joy and building memories with loved ones. So don’t become part of the statistic. Let us help you set your mind at ease and keep the good times rolling with these fire prevention tips!
Let’s be honest, the food is one of the best parts of the season. We’ve been waiting all year for grandma’s mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. We all know that cooking during the holidays can be chaos; gossip, screaming children, maybe a glass of wine or two. That’s when disaster can strike, so here’s what to look out for.
Some common causes of cooking fires include:
- Pots or cooking utensils too close to an open flame
- Leaving a dish in the oven for too long
- Grease heated above the boiling point
Any of these factors can cause a fire that’s going to be a real wet blanket on your holiday spirit. But did you know you can’t put out a grease fire with water? Water will actually make it worse. Your best bet is to use a fire extinguisher; if that won’t work, smother it with a towel or another pot. Check out this article for a sure-fire way to stop your grease fire before it gets serious.
Having a fire extinguisher handy will always be your most important tool in preventing a kitchen fire from spreading. Make sure that you have one in your kitchen in a place where you can get to it quickly and easily. Hopefully, it’s an appliance in your kitchen you’ll never need to use, but it’s better to have it and not need it, right?
For some holidays, such as Hanukkah and Kwanza, candles are a focal point of celebration. Even if they’re not, it’s just nice to have a candle burning next to the glowing tree. So it’s no surprise that candle fires are four times higher in December than during any other month. In fact, four of the five most dangerous days of the year for candle fires in residential homes are Christmas Eve/Day and New Year’s Eve/Day.
Here are some hot tips for your candle usage to reduce your risk of causing a fire:
- Make sure there is a minimum distance of one foot between your candle and anything flammable
- Place your candle on a sturdy surface
- Never leave a candle unattended
- Always make sure to extinguish candles before you go to bed or leave
Another way to reduce candle based fires is to take the candles out of the equation. There are alternative flameless candles that turn off and on by the flick of a switch. There are even electric Menorahs and Kinaras that you can buy as well to keep with your holiday traditions.
There’s something very enchanting about the twinkling of a Christmas tree, but in the blink of an eye, it could all be up in smoke. It can take less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to become engulfed in flames, so don’t let a dry tree turn your cozy cabin into a smokestack.
Here’s what you can do to minimize the risk of your tree catching fire:
- Always buy a fresh tree with intact needles (a sign of freshness)
- Have the trunk cut fresh so it can soak up all that water
- Make sure to water your tree every day!
- Consider placement! Keep your tree away from fireplaces and radiators
- If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it is flame-retardant
Did you know a well-watered tree is almost impossible to ignite? However, after four weeks your tree is going to dry out no matter how much you water it. By the end of the holidays make sure to dispose of your tree.
Whether it’s icicle lights on the outside of your house or colored lights for your tree inside, decorations add a little extra special something to the holidays.
But your festive decorations can be dangerous if not properly taken care of, so follow these quick inspection tips before you climb up on that ladder:
- Inspect the wires for any fraying
- Check for broken sockets
- Make sure your plugs are intact
Other than lights, there are so many other ways to add a festive touch to your home. While looking around for the perfect way to dress up your home, make sure you check the fine print. Purchase non-flammable decorations.
If you do have flammable pieces around your house, make sure that they are a safe distance away from any and all flames. If possible, consider replacing them.
Nothing beats getting cozy by the fire after you’ve been outside braving the winter wonderland. But before we can relax by the fire, it’s important to make sure our fireplace is safe. Soot can harden on chimney walls as flammable creosote that can cause extremely destructive fires.
So, for fireplaces:
- Make sure to have your chimney inspected regularly
- Examine your fireplace for cracks or other damage before use
- Burn cleaner logs to help keep your chimney clean between inspections
A warm fire is one of the best parts of a long winter, so make sure you’re keeping yourself, your home, and your family safe while you enjoy it.
Enjoy the Season, Don’t Fret Over it
There’s already enough stress involved during the holiday season. From traveling to cooking, gift buying, and everything in between. Follow these easy fire prevention tips to keep ‘fires’ off your list of things to worry about. Keep the fire roaring, the oven roasting, and your mind at ease.
And most importantly, have a wonderful holiday with those you care about! Happy Holidays!