Holiday Home Fires
The U.S Fire Administration has studied that each year, nearly 47,000 fires occur during the holidays. The cost is around $554 million in property damages each winter season! Wow, that's a huge number! Not to mention, the American Red Cross has found a 10% rise in home fires since 2000. So what are some important preparedness tips to help insure your family's safety during the holiday season?
- Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources (fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles).
- Purchasing artificial trees can be safer than real trees sometimes. If you do purchase a real tree, make sure that the needles are freshly green and don't easily break. Keep live trees as hydrated as possible by giving them plenty of water.
- Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturers instructions.
- Always unplug the tree and holiday lights before leaving your home, or going to bed. Purchasing a timer as well will work to shut off the lights.
- Make sure candles are always blown out before leaving a room, or going to bed.
- Use sturdy tree stands to avoid tipping over. Also, keep curious pets and children away from the tree, as they can easily fall.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire (pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains) away from your stove top.
Now, last but certainly not least, your smoke alarms are extremely important to check! Use the test button each month, and replace the batteries at least once a year. (Helpful tip): Changing out the batteries when changing your clocks (if you have a time change), is a great way to remember, or try changing them every New Years Eve!
Have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!