PREVENTING HOLIDAY FIRES
From Thanksgiving to Christmas family and friends get together and enjoy holiday traditions. But that also means a greater risk for fire. Here are a few fire safety tips to follow to ensure that the festivities are both happy and safe.
Cooking is a leading cause of holiday fires. It is easy to get distracted and forget that you have something cooking. Try taking a pot holder with you when you leave the kitchen as a reminder. Keep flammable items such as grocery bags or kitchen towels away from the stove and over. Check that the smoke detectors are working and keep a fire extinguisher handy that is rated for all types of fires. If you’re planning to deep-fry your holiday turkey, do it outside, on a flat, level surface at least 10 feet from the house.
It takes less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to engulf a room in flames. Purchase a fresh tree with intact needles, get a fresh cut on the trunk, and water it every day to minimize the fire risk. It is harder to ignite a well-watered tree. Keep the tree away from heat sources, such as a fireplace or radiator, and out of traffic patterns. Be sure to take the tree down after about four weeks because it will start to dry out. Always unplug the lights before leaving the house or going to sleep.
Inspect light strings and throw away any with frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. When decorating, don’t run more than three strings of lights end to end. Extension cords should be in good condition and UL-rated for indoor or outdoor use. Use UL-rated clips or hangers to hang lights outside. Nails or staples can damage the wiring and increase the risk of a fire. Lights should be taken down within 90 days because they can get damaged by weather or animals can chew on them.
Many people set off fireworks during their New Year celebrations. If you plan on setting off fireworks at home, choose a location away from buildings and trees. You should have a fire extinguisher or water close at hand. All spectators should stay well back. If your area is experiencing a drought, consider cancelling the display this year.
Call Fire Control Systems with any questions about fire safety. Enjoy the holidays and stay safe!