Minimizing Fire Hazards Around the Home During the Holidays
However, winter holidays bring a significant danger that stems from a festive symbol: U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 160 home fires that start with Christmas trees each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
The bad news is, Christmas trees are not the only culprits.
Here are a few ways to help keep your home, belongings, you, and your family safe this holiday season.
Take Precautions with Christmas Trees
Christmas trees are often much larger in your home than they were when selecting them at a store or tree farm. Once they get inside, be sure the tree is anchored properly to avoid tipping or falling.
Place the tree in a space that is at least three feet away from a heat source, including a vent, radiator, fireplace, or candle.
Water the tree every day to ensure it does not dry out before it is disposed of properly.
Indoor & Outdoor Holiday Lights and Decorations
The NFPA says electrical problems are responsible for one in three Christmas tree fires, but that the lights and decorations can also set fire to other objects — including the roof, siding, or gutters.
To avoid holiday light and decoration fires inside and outside the home, start by choosing the right lights.
Some lights are meant only for indoor use, some only for outdoor use. Follow directions on the box, and use clips, not nails, to secure lights to prevent damage to the cords.
Choose flame-resistant decorations, and inspect all display items for any insulation frays, corrosion, or broken sockets to prevent overheating, melting, and fire.
When hanging lights and decorations, do not link more than three strings together, or you may increase the risk of fire from overloading.
Use Candles Safely & Sparingly
The top three days for candle-related home fires in the U.S. are Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day, according to the NFPA.
When using candles to add a festive glow, be sure to follow these tips:
- Make sure they are in a sturdy, non-flammable base, and set at least one foot away from anything flammable (including the Christmas tree)
- Never light a candle in a room where or place it is not being monitored, and be sure to extinguish candles before leaving the house or going to bed
Fireplace Safety is Paramount Around the Holidays
Our Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Puerto Rico clients often use their fireplaces in the colder months, and especially to bring a little more coziness to the holidays.
If you use your fireplace for any reason, be sure the flues are not obstructed, and that the chimney is clean before lighting the logs.
Never overload fireplaces, or throw debris — like wrapping paper, newspaper, or magazines —inside, as they can cause sparks to fly and set fire to nearby objects. Place a screen over the fire while in use.
If your home does suffer damage before, during, or after your guests arrive, contact our skilled public adjusters in Boca Raton, Florida today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can produce solutions for your unique recovery needs by calling 844-967-8676, so you do not have to face the insurance company alone.