Fire safety begins with fire prevention, but it can be tough to protect against a fire in your home when you don’t know the most common causes of unexpected flames. Diligence is your number one line of defense, as most household fires originate in a manner that is completely preventable.

Consider these five common causes and what you can do to prevent catastrophe during the holiday season and all year long.

1). Christmas Trees
This festive holiday tradition is not inherently dangerous. Rather, it is the combination of incredibly dry foliage and heat-producing lights that pose a risk of harm. These two things, when combined, can light up your tree in ways that you definitely didn’t see coming. This can be especially dangerous if the tree is near other flammable objects, such as drapes and furniture.

  1. Do not leave the tree lights on 24/7, no matter how pretty they are. Many Christmas tree fires start as a result of electrical failure.
  2. If you have a live tree, keep it watered. If it has become dry, don’t try and put off tossing it out for another year.

2). Cooking
While you might stress about a fire starting when you’ve accidentally left the cookies in the oven for much too long, you should know that it’s not the oven that causes most cooking-related fires. It’s the stove top, where grease and other materials can ignite on the burner and induce flames. During the holiday season, families across the country pull out all the stops when it comes to the festivities-especially food. The stove top is a busy place to be during this time of year, and the yuletide joy can quickly turn to panic if it starts on fire.

  1. Never leave food cooking on the stovetop unintended.
  2. If grease causes a fire, do not use water. Smother the fire instead with a pot or pot lid.

3). Candles
Candles sure are nice to look at, aren’t they? They provide a delightful and relaxing ambience, smell great and make a room feel just a bit cozier. But without the proper precautions being taken, even a simple tea light candle can cause great problems.

  1. Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  2. Always keep your candles in sturdy containers. Some decorative candle holders may look very nice, but topple over too easily to be safe.
  3. Keep all candles away from drapes and other flammable materials.
  4. Never leave candles ignited when you leave the room or go to sleep.

4). Dryers and Washing Machines
These two fire-causing appliances might surprise you, but it really shouldn’t. Heat and lint, much like a Christmas tree and lights, can make for the perfect environment in which a fire can wreak havoc.

  1. Always clean out the lint catcher on your dryer and washing machine.
  2. Do not overload either appliance with excessively large loads of clothing.
  3. The dryer vent that leads outside of your house should never be obstructed.

5). Kids
Children like to explore. It’s how they figure out the world. But it can be dangerous, to the point where a life-endangering fire can start if proper guidance and supervision are not given. Firefighters respond to thousands of fires each year that were accidentally started by children playing around with flame and flammable materials.

  1. Discuss fire safety with your children at a young age, and keep discussing it with them as they grow.
  2. Do not leave children unattended near any fire or fire source.

Restore Pro is dedicated not only to helping families to rebuild after a fire, but to prevent fires from starting in the first place. If your home has been ravaged by fire, call us today at 781-664-9800 or connect with us on Facebook.