Don't Get Burned This Holiday Season
Recently I read a report in the newsroom from the U.S. Fire Administration stating there are approximately 130,000 residential fires during the month of December. Most of these fires are holiday and cold weather related... started by Christmas trees, decorations, holiday lighting, and heating methods.
So, with the weekend here and holiday decorating and celebrating in full swing, please keep these simple fire safety tips in mind!
Every year, more than 230 Christmas tree fires ignite. Place trees at least three feet away from heat sources such as fireplaces, candles, portable heaters, heat vents, and radiators. Use a sturdy tree stand to prevent tip over. Avoid over-decorating the tree and never place a lit candle on a Christmas tree. Always unplug tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed. Be sure to properly dispose of your tree as soon as it becomes dry.
Follow the lighting instructions on the number of strands to connect. Inspect all lighting – indoor and outdoor – before plugging it in. Never leave lights on when no one is home. Be careful to keep lit candles away from flammable decorations and never leave a lit candle unattended. Consider using battery-operated flame less candles, which often look, smell and feel like real candles. Always check for fraying wires or other damage on electrical decoration wiring.
One fifth of fires started in December begin because decorations are too close to a heat source. Keep decorations away from plugs and other heat sources and be especially careful when using a fireplace. Move stockings or any other decorations before starting a fire.
Heaters are involved in more than 53,600 fires annually. Space heaters are a great way to keep warm, without cranking up the heat for the entire house; however, it is essential to follow precautions listed on the electric heater instructions. It is important to make sure that any unattended electric heater is turned off.
Cooking is the number one cause of fires and injuries in the home. Be careful not to leave any cooking projects unattended and keep a close eye on any open flames. Keep any cloth or other flammable materials away from the stove or oven and always keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
Source: U.S. Fire Administration, Rainbow International