How to Practice Fire Safety During the Holidays

Posted Monday, December 5th, 2016

Keeping the Yuletide Fire Safe and Bright

We all love the festive warmth and good cheer of a roaring fire in the fireplace, or some decorative candles throughout the house. But according to the American Red Cross, nearly 47,000 fires occur during the holiday season each year. These cause more than 2,200 injuries, doing $544 million in property damage, and taking over 500 lives. Follow these few simple precautions to practice fire safety during the holidays.

Use candles with care.

We all love the pleasant glow of candles over a special meal or on a winter’s evening. Seasonal scents add to the fun, with many companies marketing holiday themed candles that smell like cinnamon, pine, and Christmas baked goods. However, the U.S Fire Administration reports that candle fires are four times more likely to start during the winter holidays. Remember to keep candles well away from flammable decorations and far from the reach of children, and to extinguish any flames before leaving the room.

Christmas trees shouldn’t become kindling.

According to the records of the National Fire Protection Association one of every twenty-two home fires started by Christmas trees will take a life. An artificial tree is the safest choice. But if you must have that natural pine, make sure it is at least three feet from heaters, fireplaces, radiators, any other heat source. Also, always keep the tree watered so that the branches stay as green as possible. The moisture in the tree will act as a fire retardant if it is exposed to an ignition source. Finally, the tree should be firmly secured, so that mischievous pets and children won’t be able to knock it over.

Check your lights and any other electrical decoration.

Most decorations that use electrical power will come with specific safety recommendations. Even if you think you know the product it’s better to check the instructions. Some light strands can’t be used outdoors, and some can’t be used on artificial trees. All need proper maintenance if you’re hoping to reuse them several years in a row. Immediately dispose of any electrical decoration with frayed wires and replace dead bulbs as soon as possible. Always unplug your lights before you go to bed at night or when you leave home.

Keep your kitchen safe.

Holidays come with a lot of extra cooking. You have everyone’s favorite dishes to make, contribute to the school bake sale, and bring your neighbor some of your famous Christmas cookies. Remember to keep the chaos under control. Anything that can catch fire, like potholders, dishtowels, flammable packaging, and wooden utensils, should be kept far away from hot surfaces. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand just in case you need to put out a stovetop or oven fire.

Don’t neglect your normal fire safety measures.

Managing everything over the holidays is enough to make a few things slip your mind. Don’t let it be fire safety. Just living in a home with the recommended number of working smoke alarms cuts fire fatalities almost in half. Make sure that all your alarms have working batteries before the holidays begin, so you won’t have to think about it as things get busier. And with all the extra laundry you have to do with thick winter clothing and guests coming to town, make an appointment to have your dryer vents cleaned regularly by a professional. Little things make a big difference when it comes to fire safety.

If the worst does happen, Modernistic is here.

A fire is one of the most traumatic events a family can go through. After recovering from the initial shock, you are left trying to put your life and home back together as quickly as possible. When disaster strikes, Modernistic is at your side to make the restoration process as painless as possible. Our certified technicians are available 24/7 to guide you through the restoration and mitigation process. We will also work with your insurance to coordinate the billing and rebuilding process. Check our website for our comprehensive list of services here, and contact us for immediate assistance.

Serving East Lansing, MI for 40 years.