Based on the study done by American Red Cross, during winter holiday season, holiday fires take about 500 lives and do more than $554 million dollars in fire damages. Since holiday season is starting slowly (don’t forget, Halloween is this weekend) we’ve put together a list of fire safety tips so that we could combat the numbers above and ensure that you have safe holidays.
Why are fires caused during winter?
There are number of reasons and factors that can contribute and increase the risk of fire during winter. They can be either through the increase usage of candles or Christmas tree lights, all the way to fireplace mishaps.
We know that a nicely decorated Christmas tree is beautiful, but you need to keep certain fire safety tips in mind and always exercise caution. Generally, a fire safety tips for the holidays includes:
- Put out a candle before you leave the room. Fires caused by candles happen 4 times more frequently during the holidays.
- Don’t throw wrapping paper, herbage or any kind of debris in your fireplace. Use the trash can instead!
- Don’t leave children unattended around the fireplace, open flames or candles. Make sure that you’re there with them to supervise
- Before turning on the space heater, make sure to check it for cord damage or if it’s working properly. If it’s not safe, don’t use it.
- Make sure that your smoke detectors work properly, that they have fresh batteries in them and that you have spare batteries at home if you need to replace them. Deaths cause by home fires in homes with broken smoke detectors are twice as high during the holiday season than normally.
Holiday fire safety tips
During the holidays, everyone is busy. There are a lot of activities in every family, community events, you host gatherings for family members or friends, children are excited, it’s truly a wonderful time of the year. Every household is packed, busy and there’s a never-ending list of things to do. However, that is one of the main reasons we have to be extra vigilant and ware of the possible fire dangers and practice fire safety tips.
Christmas tree fire safety tips
- If you’re buying a live Christmas tree, make sure that it’s fresh and that it stays fresh throughout the holiday season. If you tap the tree and it sheds needles, it’s not fresh.
- Make sure that the Christmas tree is watered so it could be fresh for a longer time. A dried-out tree is a serious fire hazard. Or simply used a potted life tree. This way you can plant it inside your garden once the holiday season is over.
- Do NOT put the Christmas tree next to the fireplace
- Don’t put real candles on has decoration
- Put the Christmas tree in places where they don’t block doorways, in case there’s a fire and you need to exit the house
- If you’re buying artificial Christmas tree, make sure you get one that’s fire-resistant
- Inspect every stand of the lights before putting them on the tree. Don’t use them if there are damage wires
- You shouldn’t use more than 3 sets of Christmas lights on one extension cord
- Make sure the extension cords are working properly and that the wiring isn’t damaged
- If you plan on going away for a few days during the holidays, turn off the Christmas lights and unplug every nonessential electronic device inside the house
- If you have candle displays as holiday decoration, keep them at least three feet away from the Christmas tree
- Use only non-combustible and fire-resistant decoration
Fire safety for outdoor decoration
Some families also put out Christmas decoration outside of their house. If you’re one of those families, remember that just because the decoration is outside the house, you shouldn’t neglect fire safety tips and precautions.
Just as with Christmas tree decorations, you need to make sure that the Christmas lights are in good shape, that there’s no damage on the wiring and that the cord for the extension cord isn’t damage or frayed.
We hope that these holiday fire safety tips will help you and that you will enjoy the holiday seasons this year!