5 Ways to Protect Your Home from Fire During the Holidays
The holiday season is finally here! With holiday decorations, lights, and festivities galore, the holiday spirit is definitely in the air. Between the lights, presents, and parties, things that bring the holidays to life can also sometimes become safety hazards. We love holiday decorations as much as the next person but it’s important to remember a few essential safety tips to keep your home safe this holiday season. Our residential security experts have compiled a list of 5 ways to protect your home from fire during the holidays. With these easy-to-implement tips, you can enjoy your holiday worry-free!
Keep An Eye On Holiday Lights
Indoor and outdoor holiday lights are some of the most common holiday decorations. Light displays are a great way to showcase your holiday spirit and they make even better holiday traditions. However, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical problems are responsible for 1 in 3 Christmas tree fires. So whether you are hanging lights inside or outside, be sure to take the necessary precautions. This includes, but is not limited to: inspecting the lights, testing them for safety and functionality, and limiting the amount of daisy-chain light sets to prevent overheating.
Before you start with your tree decorations, it is imperative that you inspect each string of lights carefully. Although this may seem like a nuisance, it is better to be safe than sorry! Be sure there isn’t any frayed insulation, broken or corroded sockets, loose connections, or exposed bare wires. If there are any bulbs that need to be replaced, replace them with ones of the same voltage rating before you use them in your decorations to prevent overheating, melting, and fire. Be sure to test them before stringing them onto your Christmas tree, and do not link more than 3 strings together as more than this can increase the possibility of a fire.
Inspect Your Fireplace
It’s difficult for Santa to shimmy down the chimney if there is excess debris and dirt. Ensure a safe fireplace and chimney by doing a chimney sweep to make sure the fireplace is safe, ready to go, and ready for Santa and his presents. While heating equipment, like a furnace or fireplace, can add much-needed warmth and coziness to your home, they can also result in devastating malfunctions if not properly cared for. Before you begin your holiday festivities, be sure to inspect your furnace, change out air filters if needed, and check the batteries on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Watch Out for Those Candles
The ambiance, the smell, and the versatility of candles make them the perfect addition to holiday decorations. According to NFPA, the top 3 days for candle-related home fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. Before lighting your candles be sure there is a clean area without too much clutter to place them in. A good rule of thumb is to place candles at least a foot away from anything flammable, like a Christmas tree. Also, be sure to place candles somewhere stable and mount them securely to a non-flammable base.
Stay Alert While Cooking
Statistically, cooking fires are the top cause of home fires and home injuries. During the holidays, there can be a lot going on. To minimize the risk of fires when you are home for the holidays or hosting a holiday party, the best tip we can give you is to stay alert. Be sure to keep anything that could potentially start a fire away from your stovetop. This can include dish towels, paper towels, and that cooking apron you accidentally left on the counter. It is best practice to keep your kitchen area as clear as possible. Additionally, if you are grilling, frying, or broiling indoors stay in the kitchen and focused on that process. If you have had a few too many holiday drinks or you are tired from all of the holiday festivities, it’s probably best to stay out of the kitchen in general. Fun fact, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, closely followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
Practice Firework Safety
Fireworks can be a fun way to ring in the holidays, however, this colorful display of holiday cheer can also come with some major risks. If fireworks are involved in your holiday festivities, take the extra precautions necessary to keep your holiday safe. Be aware of your surroundings and use caution before lighting them up. Keep them away from any building structure, and don’t set them off in or near the dry brush. It is also a good idea to have a bucket of water or hose handy for any potential mishaps. Ten percent of fireworks set off in the United States occur between December 30 and January 3. Again, if you are planning on using fireworks as part of your celebration, please use caution.
All of us at Coggin Security want to wish you and your family, a very happy and safe holiday season. With these tips, you can protect yourself, your family, and your home from fire during the holidays. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. Our residential security experts are available to install fire alarm systems and inspect and monitor your home’s safety. Happy holidays!