Three holiday fire safety tips to stay safe this season

Author: D16 March 13, 2014

Did you know that one in every three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems? Or that December is the peak time for home candle fires?

The holidays are a wonderful time of year to spend with friends and family. It should be a time for peace and fun. Not tragedy.

The last memories you want for this holiday season are of a disaster that could have been avoided. Fire safety is simple so long as you are careful and keep prevention tips top of mind with regard to Christmas trees, Christmas lights and candles.

1)      Christmas trees

FACTS: A heat source close to a tree causes about one in six Christmas tree fires. Though Christmas tree fires aren’t common, they are more likely to be more serious than other causes of home structure fires.

TIPS: Live Christmas trees must be fresh and kept healthy. If they are dried out, they can become ignited easier.

Make sure your Christmas tree is at least 3 feet from heat sources like vents, fireplaces and portable heaters. These heat sources can dry trees out.

Also, make sure the needles are green and hard to pull off. If they fall off easily, it could mean the tree has been cut too long and could be a hazard.

Get rid of your tree after Christmas or when it is dried out.

2)      Christmas lights

FACTS: Holiday and decorative lighting are estimated to cause an average of 160 home structure fires per year, which result in deaths, injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. Also, the holiday season sees an average of 5,800 fall-related injuries related to holiday decorating.

TIPS: When it comes to Christmas lights, connect no more than three strands of mini light sets. Also, connect no more than 50 bulbs for screw-in lights.

Make sure to inspect holidays lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, broken or cracked sockets and excessive kinking.

Don’t overload electrical outlets. Also, lights should never be warm to the touch.

With regard to falls, many come from falling off ladders or tripping over the Christmas tree slip. Heightened awareness is the best prevention. Also, use step-ladders inside the home instead of standing on furniture and use ladders according to instructions outside the house.

3)      Candles

FACTS: More than half of home candle fires happen when candles are too close to something that can be lit. Also, December is the peak time for home candle fires.

TIPS: Never put lit candles on a tree, instead, consider using battery-operated flameless candles.

Make sure candles are in stable holders and place them where they won’t be easily knocked down. Keep them at least 12 inches from something that can burn.

The key to fire safety and avoiding injury this holiday season is heightened awareness. Once you understand how simple it is to prevent fires, you can vastly improve your odds of avoiding a home tragedy this holiday season.

Still, disastrous situations can happen despite our best actions. If so, always remember Swartz Contracting and Emergency Services will help you repair the damages immediately. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call us today at 419-331-1024 or 800-462-1024.

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