Holiday Home Safety: Fire Prevention

The holiday season is quickly coming upon us and just as we need to prepare our cupboards, tables, and schedules for the festivities, it is important for our homes to be prepared also.  Much thought, attention, and care are taken into consideration when decorating for the holidays and welcoming friends and families into our homes.  And one thing that is an unwelcome threat that can exist if we do not take the time to prepare properly is a home fire.

All homeowners would agree that safety, security, and peace are welcome this time of year as much as yuletide greetings.  Here are tips and measures you can take to keep your family and home safe…:

Be sure to check the condition of all electrical wires of strings of lights or other various light up holiday decorations. Ensure that light bulbs are not cracked or completely broken.  These lights have not been used or seen since the last holiday season and could have endured harsh conditions, exposure to moisture or critters, were mishandled or store improperly.  Keep and read instructions for light strings being placed on your trees, inside or outside.  Plug into outlets with correct capabilities, with no more than 3 sets at one time while trimming the tree.  Take your time and enjoy the process.  Tree lights should not remain lit throughout the night or while one is not home.

Hosts and hostesses often receive candles as gifts this time of year and are eager to light them to create a warm ambiance for their guests.  But leaving an unattended open flame can be both irresponsible and dangerous.  Ensure that the lit candles are on flat, solid, and stable surfaces; out of the reach of young children, paper products, and high traffic but also in a location that is visible and not easily forgotten.

Christmas Trees
Where we place our Christmas tree each year is a tradition and brings true feelings that the season has entered our homes.  But with the Christmas tree, real or fake, and where it is placed, also brings with it another risk for a home fire.  Trees should be at least 3 feet from any heat source, well secured in it’s stand, not blocking any exit or doorway, and well-watered to prevent dryness.

Kitchen and Cooking Precautions
Main dishes, appetizers, cookies, and other treats are continually being prepared, cooked, and baked this season.  Kitchens need a quick scan before the cooking begins as another step in each recipe.  Ensure that there is a properly working and accessible smoke detector in the kitchen or directly near it.  Locate your home’s fire extinguisher, storing it in the kitchen, knowing exactly where it is with ease of use.  Keep your work areas clean, free of clutter, and stay organized.  Know what is being cooking or baked and where.  Keep floors free of hazards like throw rugs, mats, toys, small pets, and young children.

This is the time of year for joy, celebration, blessings, and happiness.  We welcome family and friends not danger, additional stress, or fear.  Take a little extra time in preparing and decorating, keeping alert and attentive.  Savor the season with safety and care.

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