The holidays bring family and friends together to celebrate the joys of the season. With lights, candles and good food we often forget about the hidden dangers that could cause house fires and injury. It’s scary to think that there is an estimated average of 210 reported home structure fires per year, according to a National Fire Protection Association study, resulting in an annual average of 7 civilian fire deaths, 19 civilian fire injuries, and $17.5 million in direct property damage. Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day rank as the peak days for kitchen fires. With such a large risk of damaging your home, it’s important to stay alert and practice safety even during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We’ve gathered up a list of high-risk fire starters that you should be mindful of.
Making sure you don’t burn your food should be taken seriously. Oven fires are the most common around the holidays. When cooking, stay in the kitchen, most fires occur because food is left unattended. Also, keep all potholders and oven mitts clear of the stovetop but in reach in case of quick action needed. For more cooking safety tips allstate.com has a great list that will help keep your kitchen fire free.
You should pick a freshly cut tree, as they are more resistant to ignition. Also, keep your tree watered and away from open candles. You should also check lights for damaged sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections. Before you leave or go to sleep, you should turn off your lights in case they get hot or a faulty wire sparks a fire. At the end of the season, please properly dispose of your tree and consider recycling it. You can find Madison’s holiday tree collection information here: cityofmadison.com
Available for our convenience, we often misuse extension cords. Use the one and done rule, find the correct length extension cord as well as correct amperage and only use that one for one outlet. You should not plug an extension cord into an extension cord. Made to be laid flat without restrictions, a cord should not be shut in a door, walked on/driven over or ran under a carpet.
An open flame on the end of a candle can quickly become a fire hazard if not carefully monitored. By following three simple rules, candles can be enjoyed safely. Rule one, never leave a burning candle unattended. Rule two, never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire. Rule three, keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. For more tips on candle safety, visit candles.org.
Here to warn us of detected smoke, we often forget to change the batteries in our smoke detectors. One way to remember is to pick a time of year that you’ll remember and make that your annual smoke detector battery changing day. You should also check your smoke detector once a month to make sure it works by pressing the test button on the detector. It’s also recommended to replace your smoke detector when they are 10 years old. Most importantly, develop an exit plan for the family in case there is a fire. It’s better to be safe and have a plan than to find yourself in the unthinkable situation.
With these tips in mind, we hope you have a great holiday season while staying safe! Like tips like this? Follow us on Facebook and check out our Website for great deals!
Photo credit: State Farm, Candle flame via Flickr Attribution – CC By 2.0