Did you know Christmas trees and other holiday decorations account for over $22 million in property damage each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association? This means that 20 percent of home fires caused by decorations occur in the month of December alone!
Christmas trees and holiday decorations aren’t the only things putting a damper on the joys of the holiday season— cooking and using fireworks during your holiday celebrations also cause more fires during the holiday season. With all these potential threats, it’s important to remember a few safety tips while spreading holiday cheer!
1. Christmas Trees
We all know how wonderful fresh cut Christmas trees smell in our homes and offices. However, if you opt for a live tree, check each strand of lights you hang on the tree for any frays, kinks or other wear on the lights. Additionally, water your tree daily to keep it hydrated. Not only will this help your tree look fresh for longer, it also limits the flammability of the tree! Plug your lights into a ground-fault circuit interpreter (GFCI) outlet and always unplug your decorations before heading to bed, leaving your home, or when the office closes!
2. Holiday Decorations
Where you can, limit your usage of open flame candles and opt for flameless, battery operated candles. Open flames are a major cause of fires all year, but especially around the holidays. If you do burn a candle, never leave the candle unattended and make sure to blow them out before leaving or going to bed!
Kitchen fires are also more common throughout the holiday season. Remember to move any decorations, potholders or wooden cooking utensils away from the burners while cooking. Always keep an eye on the burner while cooking. Now is a good time to ensure your smoke alarm is in proper working condition!
4. Chimneys and Fire Places
Cozying up by the fire is great—those flames spreading and causing damage on your property is not. Its important to keep your chimney clear of debris and have it professionally cleaned and inspected each year before the first use. Burn only CSIA-approved logs in the fireplace and avoid throwing paper items or other “kindling” into the fire.
When you are gearing up for your New Years celebrations, please follow your local laws and regulations regarding the use of fireworks. When lighting fireworks, always back away from the firework immediately and avoid aiming the fireworks at a tree, house or other people. When lighting fireworks, have a fire extinguisher ready for use in case a fire does occur. Douse your fireworks in water (such as in a bucket) before throwing them in the trash and never relight a firework if it did not ignite fully the first time.
We hope this holiday season is filled with friends, family and food. However, if you experience any size property loss from fire, water or mold damage, give our team a call. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week even during the holidays. Our team is ready to respond quickly and get you back to normal operations. That’s our Guarantee!