The holidays are a time of cheer and your home will reflect that with all of its festive decor. Here are some tips to keep your home safe from fire during the holiday season:
Since 40% of home fires reported start in the kitchen, ensure smoke alarms are working and can be heard everywhere in the house. If you do not have one, now is a good time to install carbon monoxide detectors since peak CO2 season is November through February.
Read and follow manufacturer’s instructions for your holiday light sets. Do not overload outlets and connectors either indoors and outside. Electrical fires often start in the walls of your home, without visible signs. Be mindful and use preventative measures.
One in every four December home fires start because the Christmas tree is too close to a heat source. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) suggests having three feet between the tree and any heat source – fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles and furnace vents.
Burning candles should be at least 12 inches from anything else that burns. Always keep candles within your sight. The top three days for candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve – when distractions are plentiful.
Fireplace safety is critical during these cozy times as well. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually – contact Sibcy Cline Home Services for recommendations. Never leave the fire unattended for even the shortest amount of time. And although popular, fire salts and color packets contain heavy metals that can cause intense irritation and illness if swallowed or inhaled.
Check and replace your household fire extinguishers. Suggested placement for extinguishers are: kitchen, each room with a fireplace and garages/sheds. Practice PASS (Pull the Pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze and Sweep) and emergency evacuation plans with your family.
Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!
Article courtesy of Sibcy Cline Insurance Services
Sources: United States Fire Administration (USFA), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)