Holiday Fire Safety Tips Part 2
The holiday season is a very fun, very festive time of year. A season filled with many gatherings and celebrations, dinners and parties and a whole host of indoor and outdoor gatherings, all together with family and friends to celebrate with holiday cheer.
With the nature of the festivities of this season many homes are widely adorned with lights and trees, candles and decorations inside and out. And with the colder, festive months come a heightened level of unique dangers to most homes. A higher percentage of residential fires happen in the colder Fall and Winter months. Primarily caused by heating, electrical malfunctions and unsafe, unattended cooking indoors and outdoors. And while all of these hazards can happen anytime of year, they certainly seem to happen more frequently during the holidays and nothing will take the joy out of your holidays quite like a home accident or a house fire.
Regardless of what you celebrate or how you celebrate those special moments, please take the following steps and precautions into consideration this time of year:
- Outdoor decorations and maintenance:
- Holiday Lights – Above all else, decorate responsibly. All outdoor lighting and extension cords must be manufactured for outdoor use only. Do not use indoor lighting for outdoor use. All lighting should be tested for strong wiring. Annual testing of all light strands and cords for frayed or exposed, decaying sections. Any damaged wires or cords should be replaced prior to use. Keep all lights away from standing water or snow and always protected and covered if weather elements occur.
- Chimneys – Have your chimney professionally inspected annually. With a wood burning fireplace only burn dry wood. Green or damp wood when burned can sizzle and smoke and create additional dangers to the roof .
- Outdoor fireplaces and firepits – Always maintain a minimum of 10 feet out from your home or any structure on your property. Never operate in windy weather as sparks and flying embers can easily set surrounding homes and plants ablaze.
- Decorations– As with outdoor lighting, decorate responsibly. Always ensure that all wiring and cords are in good condition, free of any damage or fraying. Always keep all plugs and cords away from water or snow and always covered and protected if weather elements occur.
As a homeowner, understanding the elevated risks of this time of year and exercising simple attentive precautions will keep you, your family and friends and your home safe for many festive holiday celebrations for years to come.