Its the “most wonderful time of the year”, but also one of the most dangerous times of the year for house fires. Here are some tips to avoid a fire in your home this holiday season.
According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), 4 out of the 5 days most dangerous for candle house fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and New Years Day. 1/3 of these fires start in a bedroom. More than half are due to the candles being too close to flammable materials.
- Consider flameless LED candles
- Keep lit candles at least 12″ from any flammable items
- Have secure & sturdy bases for each candle
- Blow out candles before going to bed and before leaving home
- Never leave a candle burning in a child’s bedroom or unoccupied room
- Don’t have candles close to where kids can knock them over
Cooking is the top cause for house fires. According to the NFPA, 40% of cooking fires start from leaving pots or pans unattended to do something for “just a minute”.
- Don’t leave cooking food unattended
- Have fire extinguisher in an easy-to-reach location in the kitchen
- If deep-frying turkey, do it OUTSIDE on a flat/level surface AT LEAST 10 feet from home and not under any portion of home or trees.
- Don’t throw water on a grease fire. Instead, put a lid on the pan to smother fire.
- If oven flares up, turn off oven and keep oven door shut until fire extinguishes itself
Christmas tree fires are obviously more common during the holidays. It takes less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to go up in flames and engulf the entire room. Christmas tree fires cause an average of $18.3 million dollars in damage each year. The reasons for most Christmas tree fires are a dry tree. electrical failures/lights, and being too close to fireplace or candles.
- Buy a fresh tree and water EVERY day (when lights are OFF)
- Dispose of dry Christmas tree quickly (usually dries at a month)
- Consider buying a fake Christmas tree that is flame-retardant
- Turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed
- Check lights before adding to tree for any electrical issues
- Keep tree away from heat sources like fireplace, wood stove, or open flames
Children playing with fire
The NFPA states that an average of 7,100 house fires each year are started by children. Younger children under 6 years old are more likely to start a house fire INSIDE the home, while older kids are more likely to start a fire outside the house.
- Keep matches and lighters AWAY from children
- Teach children fire safety
- Supervise children closely, especially near open flames
There are a variety of origins for electrical light fires. More than half of electrical & lighting house fires are due to wiring. This time of year, there are more fires due to Christmas decorative lighting. Hope these tips help reduce risk for your home.
- Don’t overload the circuit
- Don’t string more than 3 light strands together
- Use outside cords for outside use and inside cords for inside
- Turn off Christmas lights when leaving home or going to bed
- Have electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring
- Avoid using nails or staples to hang up outside lights
Make sure to have your fireplace ready for Santa AND safe for everyone in your home.
- Have chimney inspected BEFORE lighting fireplace each season
- Add screen in front of fireplace to avoid embers from popping out to flammable materials
- Never use flammable liquids to start fire
- Only burn seasoned wood, no wrapping paper
- When cleaning out fireplace, put embers in metal container and set outside to cool at least 24 hours before disposal
Fires caused by smoking has an average of 17,600 house fires and 490 related deaths. More than half of the deaths are 65 years old or older.
- If smoking, consider smoking outside
- Use large sturdy ashtrays
- Don’t smoke when tired or in bed
- Don’t smoke around medical oxygen
At Pure Cleaning & Restoration, we specialize in fire, water damage restoration and smoke and odor cleaning. We have specialized equipment, specific training, and certifications that allow us restore your home to pre-fire condition. We understand you may be feeling stressed, and worried. Our technicians will treat your family with empathy and your home with great care. Call/text us at 801-750-2928.
This article is provided for your convenience; it is not intended as insurance advice or otherwise.