Holiday Home Fire Safety Tips

Protect your home and family from these common fire hazards to ensure that your holidays are merry and bright.

Holiday Home Fire Safety Tips

The holidays are in full swing and while you’re busy celebrating with friends and loved ones, make sure to pay attention to some of these common – and some very serious – fire hazards. Educate yourself and your family on how to avoid them (including implementing fire safety in and around your home) and what to do if any accidents occur. 

 

Fire Safety Prevention in the Kitchen

Kitchens are one of the common places where people gather during the holidays and one of the areas that has numerous hazards if proper fire safety prevention isn’t followed. Whether you’re trying a new cooking technique or cooking your signature dish the way you have countless times before; remember these important holiday safety tips to avoid major mishaps that could lead to smoke or fire damage.

  • Never walk away from a stovetop while you’re cooking – Hot oil could scald, water could boil over or a fire could start and cause serious smoke damage to your home.
  • Keep flammable items away from ovens and hot stoves – This includes electrical appliances, kitchen towels and grocery bags. Any time you’re using a kitchen appliance that uses heat and/or electricity, be sure to practice appropriate fire safety techniques and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Store fire safety equipment in a cabinet or under the sink – It’s important to have a fire extinguisher close by as well as a box of baking soda for grease fires. Make sure to clean up any grease spills to help prevent any potential kitchen fires. It’s also a good idea to have a smoke alarm installed in or near the kitchen.

 

Christmas Tree Safety and Fireproofing for Lights and Decorations

Many winter holidays incorporate décor including lights, candles and Christmas trees. However, a tea light can quickly turn into a fire hazard if it’s burning near flammable materials or if it’s left unattended.

  • Water live Christmas trees regularly – Dry trees are a huge potential fire hazard (more so than artificial trees, which are usually treated with flame retardant), but if kept in a moist area, they are less likely to ignite and cause fire damage.
  • Replace faulty lights and extension cords – Practice proper electrical safety by throwing out old, worn electrical cords as they could cause an electric shock electric shock or become a fire hazard. Double check all electric (and decorative) lights, power cords and cables and replace any parts that are broken or damaged.
  • Candles should be kept away from flammable or combustible materials – This includes Christmas trees (and decorations), curtains/drapes and other fabric or materials that could quickly catch and spread fire. 
  • Inspect smoke detectors and fire safety equipment – This is a crucial step for fireproofing your home and to help protect against potential fire/smoke damage because during the holidays many homeowners are using wires, lights and candles for decorations in addition to keeping their homes heated.

 

Fireplace, Heater and Electrical Safety

When it’s cold outside, it’s the perfect time to enjoy warmth by the fireplace. Or you may add an additional heat source with a space heater for a cold area of your home. No matter how you decide to heat your home this season, make sure to take some basic fire and electrical safety precautions.

  • Test all of your fire and carbon monoxide detectors – Help avoid fire and smoke damage by making sure your home’s fire safety prevention system is working correctly.
  • Inspect and clean your fireplace – Before you use your fireplace this season, make sure to have it professionally inspected and cleaned and always make sure the flue is open before burning a fire.
  • Always make sure to turn off space heaters – Either before you leave the room they are in or before you go to sleep. This applies to all types of heaters. Make sure to follow the operating instructions and keep flammable materials away from heaters to prevent smoke or fire damage.

 

The information and advice contained in this article is intended as a general guide for informational purposes only. It does not take into account your personal situation. While we at Resolve have significant experience and history operating in the home restoration industry and working closely with construction contractors, we are not licensed as a general or specialty contractor. We encourage you to consider the information we’ve provided but urge you not to rely upon it in place of appropriate professional advice from a licensed, experienced construction contractor.  

REFERENCES

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/holiday.html

http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Winter-holiday-safety

https://www.securitychoice.net/home-security-articles/winter-weather-heat-your-home-safely/

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/holiday-fire-safety

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