The holidays bring about much goodwill and cheer, but it is also the time when greedy fires threaten most. The winter cold and festive lighting bring about risks that are far less common at any other time of year. Looking at the main fire hazards of the season, we shall go over the top fire prevention tips for the holidays.
Christmas lights outside and inside the home can pose an electrical hazard if not done safely. Before wrapping the tree with strings of lights, make sure that no wires are frayed or broken. If so, throw it out. To avoid overloading any circuits around the house, distribute your lights as evenly as possible. Take care to not overload circuits shared by major appliances, like the refrigerator.
Another leading cause of fires during the holidays is candles. If you use candles with real flames, set them on a sturdy base and monitor them while lit. Keep them a foot away from all other flammable objects, such as wreaths or fabrics. Never allow them to burn when you are out of the house or asleep. If you have young children, LED candles may be a safer option.
Many house fires happen due to a heat source sitting too close to the Christmas tree or another flammable object. If you use a space heater, keep it in a spacious area and use a 20-amp circuit. To help your tree out, keep it hydrated every day to avoid it becoming brittle.
Fire prevention in the home also includes minding the chimney. Fires can start from one that’s dirty. If you have not had your chimney cleaned by a professional chimney sweep in a long time, you’ll want to ensure your fireplace is safe before you kindle the wood.
Although not one’s first image when it comes to Christmas and New Year’s, clothes dryers also cause fires, but mostly in January. Not cleaning the lint tray is perhaps the most common reason. It is also important to keep the area around the dryer clean, the dryer vent outside free from debris or snow, and not setting the dryer temperature too high. You can also help by not overloading the dryer and monitoring the machine while it works.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Lastly, your home will not be best prepared for fires unless you have fire prevention allies guarding your home. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should go on every floor of the house, including the basement. Remember to keep them loaded with fresh batteries so they’ll be ready to sound the alarm if need be.
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