Practice These Holiday Fire Safety Tips at Home
House fires are more common during the holiday season than any other time of year. The Red Cross reports that in an average year, 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays. Most house fires can be prevented with proper safety measures. Here are 8 holiday fire safety tips to keep in mind this year.
1. Store Fire Extinguishers in the Home
Every home should have fire extinguishers for use in the event of an emergency. They should be placed in areas where fires are most likely to occur. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, basement, and in any room where there is a fireplace. Remember that fire extinguishers are marked with letters showing what kind of fires they can put out. Read the labels carefully and store fire extinguishers accordingly.
2. Avoid Leaving Kitchen Towels Near Burners
When cooking, keep your kitchen towels away from the stove. A towel on the counter can easily be moved a few inches and catch on fire from an open flame. Instead, install several towel hooks off the counters so towels are away yet in easy reach while you’re cooking.
3. Never Leave the Kitchen When Cooking on the Stove
When cooking on top of the stove, remain in the kitchen. It’s too easy for grease or other flammable ingredients to overheat and catch on fire. It can happen in an instant. If you absolutely must leave the kitchen while something is cooking on top of the stove, turn it off completely first.
4. Stay Home While the Oven is On
Turkeys and hams take hours to cook. But avoid the temptation to leave the house while the main course is roasting in the oven. It’s better to let someone else run to the store for a forgotten ingredient. Even if you decided to leave for a short time, anything could happen. You could have an accident or get distracted and forget you have something cooking at home.
5. Make Sure Smoke Alarms Are in Working Order
Smoke alarms are your first line of defense against a house fire. Make sure all your smoke alarms are in good working order by installing fresh batteries and pushing the test button that comes on every unit.
6. Use Electric Candles
Nowadays you can buy inexpensive battery-powered flameless candles that you can use to add a festive touch to your holidays. Some sets even come with a remote control and timer so you can place them up high and turn them on and off easily.
7. Turn Off Tree Lights
Whether you’re going out for a walk or going to bed, turn off your Christmas tree lights when you aren’t present. This is one of the top fire safety tips for the home. Tree lights can malfunction. If they do, the risk of fire is greater because of the close proximity to flammables like tree decorations and the tree itself.
8. Keep the Tree Watered
A dried out tree is more likely to catch fire because it’s more flammable. Check water levels daily to make sure the tree is sufficiently watered.
These holiday fire safety tips for the home will help prevent accidents during the chaos of the holidays and all year long.