The holidays are full of decorating, family get-togethers, and holiday celebrations, but did you know that they’re also the most common time of the year for home fires? From dry Christmas trees, to overloaded circuits, improper lighting or electrical, and open candles, account for hundreds of fires each year and tens of millions of dollars in damage.
Ensure you have a safe holiday season with these important reminders!
How to prevent Christmas Tree Fires
Christmas Trees alone account for approximately 160 home fires each year, often, as a result of the tree being dry or underwatered. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- When picking a tree, select one that is in good health. Look for trees that aren’t browning, brittle, dying back, or dropping an excessive number of needles.
- Cut off the bottom 2 inches of the trunk to allow it to take in more water once placed in the tree stand. Most sellers are happy to do this for you.
- Ensure your tree is far away from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, heat vents, and heaters, which will cause it to dry out.
- Make sure that your tree is well watered, and check daily to ensure that there’s plenty of water in the tree stand.
- Clean up any pine needles that may fall, these are extremely flammable.
How to avoid Candle Fires
While candle fires occur year round, the majority do occur during the holiday season. Follow these candle use best practices whenever candles are lit:
- Always keep lit candles far away from flammable objects such as lamp shades, blankets, curtains, and other content items.
- Never leave lit candles unattended.
- When using candles, ensure that they are on a heat resistant, stable, surface away from children and pets.
- After extinguishing a candle, always put the lid back on to avoid the candle reigniting.
How to prevent Fireplace Fires
There’s nothing like having the fireplace going on a cold winter day, but before you start using it this year, make sure that it’s properly maintained. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Fireplaces are prone to an accumulation of Creosote and Creosote “cleaning” logs aren’t a cure all. It’s always a good idea to have your fireplace inspected at the beginning of the season and professionally cleaned.
- Make sure that you have a screen installed on your fireplace and that it’s used whenever you have a fire going. This prevents embers from leaving the fireplace where they can ignite carpet, flooring, or furniture.
- Never leave a fire unattended, and be sure to distinguish it fully before leaving your house or going to bed.
How to avoid Electrical Fires
Holiday electrical fires are often caused by overloaded circuits, use of improper electrical equipment, or defective lights or decorations. Here are some things to look for to avoid electrical fires this holiday season:
- Make sure all lights and electrical decorations have been approved by a nationally recognized testing lab such as UL.
- Only use lights and electrical decorations intended for indoor use indoors, and lights and electrical decorations intended for outdoor use outdoors. They are different, and using the incorrect lights and decorations can result in fire.
- Be sure to check all lights and electrical decorations before use each year and dispose of any that are damaged, showing signs of frayed or damaged wiring or sockets.
- Never plug together more lights / electrical decorations than is recommended by the manufacturer.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets or circuits with too many lights or electrical decorations.
- Turn off lights and electrical decorations when you leave home or go to bed.
We hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday season full of family, holiday celebrations, and great memories!
About Disaster Blaster
Disaster Blaster is an indoor environmental firm serving the Northeastern PA Area. We have been providing our local area with unparalleled water damage mitigation, basement waterproofing, mold remediation, radon mitigation, asbestos abatement, and fire / smoke restoration services for decades, and are proud to have been named The World’s Greatest Indoor Environmental Firm. For more about Disaster Blaster, as well as more helpful tips, please visit our website at: www.disasterblaster.com or call our office at (570) 963-1123.