The risk of deadly house fires goes up substantially during the holiday season for many reasons. Between packed schedules, visiting guests, last-minute shopping trips, and elaborate meal preparation, you may feel like you’re constantly forgetting what you were doing and rushing to get to the next step. Unfortunately, this can lead to many problems, such as forgetting to blow out your candles or leaving a boiling pot on the stove that ignites a nearby cookbook.
By taking extra care to identify common holiday fire hazards and employ preventative measures, you can significantly reduce your risk of a house fire this holiday season.
General Preventative Measures
- Ensure that you have a working fire extinguisher near your kitchen and other vulnerable areas of your home. It’s best to purchase one that is rated for all types of fires.
- Consider using LED lights in place of candles if you have a tendency to forget them or want to lower your fire risk.
- Never leave the oven running when you’re outside of your home.
- Keep flammable items away from furnace vents and other sources of heat.
- Don’t leave your lights plugged in at night or when you leave your home.
Treat Your Tree with Care
While a live pine tree adorned with decorations can be a beautiful sight, it can also be a significant fire hazard if not treated properly. Choose a tree that isn’t shedding very many needles, and make sure it has fresh water every day. When the holidays are over, promptly take your tree out to the curb.
Inspect Your Light Strands
Many people use the same light strands year after year without much thought, but most of the time, light strands should be replaced after every 3 or more years. The wiring on these strands is not only a hassle to untangle when you pull it out of storage, but can also become frayed or cracked. Inspect your light strands every year before hanging them. Don’t use nails or pins to hang holiday lights. Instead, you can purchase special light hanger clips that won’t damage the wiring or your walls.
Don’t Get Distracted in the Kitchen
For most people, the holiday season means lots of baking and cooking. From the Thanksgiving feast to holiday cookies for a school party, you may feel like you’re always in the kitchen. It’s important to not get distracted when it comes to your stove. Never leave your stovetop unattended when it is in use. Be sure to check your oven, for example if you’re baking a turkey, at least once every half hour. Keep any flammable items, such as kitchen towels and napkins, away from your stove area.
Pay Close Attention to Candles
Fragrant holiday-themed candles are a staple of the season, as decorations and gifts alike. However, they should always be used with caution and treated with care, as even a small candle has the potential to gut a house. Never leave a burning candle unattended, and make sure to always walk around your home and double-check any candles before you go to bed. Keep fabric and other flammable material away from candles.
If your home has suffered fire damage that is in need of professional care, trust in the services of RestorePro. Our company has helped countless home owners over the years with their fire restoration needs, treating each home with the care and attention it deserves. Contact our team at 1-800-847-0114 to schedule a service call or for additional information about RestorePro’s services.