Fire safety is important during the holiday season. Putting up Christmas trees and decorations, as well as other activities pose the risk of fire in your home. However, you can help prevent holiday fires by following a few simple tips:
1. Consider choosing a flame-resistant, artificial Christmas tree instead of a real one; artificial trees are more resistant to fires. If you opt for a real tree, choose a fresh one with green needles.
2. Place your Christmas tree at least three feet away from heat sources, such as radiators, fireplaces, and candles. Also ensure the tree isn’t blocking any doorway.
3. Water your fresh tree daily to improve the tree’s resistance to fire. After the holidays, never burn the Christmas tree in your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
4. Choose flame-resistant decorations, but move breakable decorations to the top where children and pets can’t reach them.
5. Use battery-operated candles instead of lighted ones. If you use lighted candles to decorate your home, keep them in secure holders at least one foot away from anything else. Never use lighted candles to decorate your Christmas tree.
6. Keep matches and lighters away from children’s reach and sight. Don’t allow children and pets to get close to lit candles.
7. Inspect holiday lights for frayed wiring, loose connections, cracked sockets, and broken bulbs before displaying them.
8. Use extension cords carefully – never plug more than three sets of lights into one extension cord to prevent the cord from overheating.
9. Securely fasten outdoor lights to trees, gutters or other parts of the home that are not too close to windows and doors. Use roof clips or insulated staples to fasten the lights.
10. Unattended cooking is the number one culprit behind most cooking fires. Always stay in the kitchen when you have something on the stove. If a pan catches on fire, never pour water on it, as this may cause burning oil to splash and cause injuries.
11. Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional. Place a protective screen around the fireplace to prevent embers from popping out onto flammable materials.
12. Ask smokers to smoke outside and take smoking materials with them so that kids won’t touch them. Prepare large ashtrays for them.
13. Keep a fire extinguisher that is rated for all types of fires on all levels of the home.
14. Make sure your smoke alarms are working and test them monthly. Change the batteries yearly. A good rule of thumb is to change them with Daylight Savings Time. If you haven’t yet changed them this year, do it now. Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.
Learn more Christmas tree fire safety tips in this article and check out how to keep your pets safer during the holidays here. For professional emergency fire damage repair or smoke remediation services, contact your local PuroClean office.