Believe it or not, the holidays are just around the corner! And with all the lights, cooking, and festivities that are sure to be going on in and around your house, it’s important to stay safe during this festive time. In the following article, we’ve provided some key tips for fire prevention, that hazard which unfortunately occurs frequently around the fall and winter holidays: domestic fires.
Some Primary Fire Prevention for Home Safety
Let’s take a look at how you can help keep yourself and your family and neighbors safer this year.
1. Keep Open Flames Away from Pets and Children
From jack-o’-lanterns and dining room taper candles to roaring fireplaces and all four burners cooking various holiday dishes … let’s just say there are a lot of open flames around the holidays.
Naturally, this isn’t always a bad thing. You need to be able to cook, and having candles and other decorations around on a cold winter’s night can be wonderful. Indeed, there’s often nothing more comforting and consoling than wood burning in the fireplace.
Still, all of these open flames need to come with strict safety guidelines especially when it comes to babies, children, and pets.
For starters, make sure that any open flames from things like candles or lighted pumpkins, for example, are out of reach for babies, toddlers, and children. They should also be away from dogs, cats, and other pets who might accidentally brush them with their tails or investigate them with their snouts.
While cooking, you should always be near the stove and not only keep a close and constant eye on what you’re making, but you should also keep those same kids and pets far away from the heat and flame.
2. Don’t Overload Electrical Circuits to Avoid Fire Prevention
As the abundance of flames around the holidays, often such a number of things are also required that also need to be plugged in for the holiday checklist. Holiday lights, cooking appliances, home Decorations, chargers, etc. can overload electrical outlets and cause a random fire at any time.
For this reason, you should keep a lookout for overloaded outlets, and try to keep power strips turned off when they are not in use especially at night when everyone is sleeping and wouldn’t see a smoking or sparking cord or outlet right away.
3. Stay Up-to-Date on Your Smoke Detectors
Before the holidays are in full swing, go around your house and double check every smoke detector. Make sure they are properly wired (if applicable) and have brand new batteries.
Remember that you should always have at least one smoke detector on each floor of your home, and you should also make sure to have one near every place where people will be sleeping.
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4. Ensure a Safe Chimney and Fireplace
Fires in the fall and around Christmastime are one of the great joys of living in a colder climate. If you’re so lucky to enjoy this luxury, you should also be aware that chimney and fireplace safety need to go hand in hand with having regular fires in your fireplace (or even just one).
For starters, always have your chimney and fireplace inspected at the beginning of the season. A professional chimney sweep will be able to inspect and clean your chimney column, especially. A buildup of soot and debris in chimneys is a key cause of seasonal fires.
Next, make sure you’re not burning just anything. You need to use high quality fuel that is dry and won’t build up creosote in your chimney. Don’t burn garbage, plastics, or Styrofoam either, as these things will not only cause a buildup in your chimney, but they can also be dangerous to your health if you are exposed to them at high temperatures.
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5. Be Safe About Fireworks for Fire Prevention
Often, around the new year, families and friends like to light fireworks as a form of celebration. In certain areas in cities and close suburbs or residential apartment areas, for example, this is not recommended. Buildings are too close, and just one spark landing on a roof could cause a bigger flame.
In the countryside or away from people, buildings, and trees, however, you can light off legal fireworks. Just be sure to do so with care and attention. Light each firework individually, and ensure there are no hazards nearby that could mean disaster.
In the end, most fire safety tips have to do with preparation and diligence. Be aware of any open flames that are around you no matter the time of year.
Never leave something cooking on the stove and walk out of the room. Never leave an open flame from a candle on the table. Even if you plan on being gone for just a few minutes, don’t forget that it’s easy to forget! Blow out the candle and relight it when you come back.
Taking even these small precautions can prevent major fire disasters and the need for extensive fire damage restoration services this holiday season.