Similar to Thanksgiving, the holiday season is one full of safety concerns. Whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza, many more holidays all come with their own safety concerns.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, December, a month with an over abundance of holiday celebrations, is the peak time of year for home fires, whether it be Christmas trees or candle fires. These fires are often serious and life threatening, due to heat sources being placed too close to flammable objects.
To prevent fires, the USFA and several other sources outline some statistics and tips:
- Candles – Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns, in stable holders and surfaces. Consider using battery-operated flameless candles to give you the same look and smell as real candles, without the danger.
- Trees – Keep trees at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, or candles. Do not block exits, and make sure to water live trees every day. A dry tree makes a quicker burning tree, and is the most common cause of tree fires; this video shows how quickly a dry tree can become engulfed in flames.
- Lighting – Make sure to check your holiday decorations by inspecting holiday lights for frayed or pinched wires. Follow instructions when connecting lighting to one another. Always turn lighting off when going to sleep or when away from your home. Using an outdoor timer certified by the CSA International can also help avoid electricity rush hour, and help reduce your electricity bill. Only use insulated tape or plastic clips when hanging your decorations outside to avoid electrical issues.
- Clean and Clear – To help prevent fires, have your chimney cleaned regularly, while making sure to also clean your furnace’s filter and venting system. Remove flammable clutter such as gasoline, propane, paper, chemicals, and more from around your furnace or other heat sources. This also means keeping snow and debris away from outside ventilation as well, including your washer/dryer, oven, and furnace to prevent gas/heat buildup and fire hazards.
- Safety Certified – Make sure to choose products such as lighting, extension cords, decorations, gas appliances, and carbon monoxide alarms that are certified by an accredited organization. Keeping these products up-to-date and in full working condition are important to help prevent fires.
Even though these tips are great ways to help reduce and prevent fires, being observant of your surroundings, and knowing when something seems off, is one of the most important steps to staying safe this holiday season.
The Danella team wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!
Sources: USFA, Parents.com, National Safety Council