Top 7 Fire Hazards Around the Holidays

by Jackie Berens

Top 7 Fire Hazards Around the Holidays

When you light it up on NYE, make sure it’s not an actual fire hazard!

It’s almost the New Year, and you know what that means… it’s time to light it up! But be careful, as 2020 has shown us, you can never be too careful with your health and safety. In other words, don’t go out of 2020 with a literal bang.

Figuratively, yes light it up, go out with a bang, and forget about the past 365 days! But keep in mind a few fire safety precautions as you do it. We’re a fire prevention company, what else would we be talking about going into the New Year?

Your smoke detector may be annoying, but there’s a reason. 

We understand the ringing from a smoke detector is the last thing you need during the holidays. However, smoke detectors have a purpose and that is to keep you safe. Be sure your smoke detectors are up-to-date and have working batteries. 

Just like the airport, unattended baggage- in this case, pots and pans- should be subject to removal. 

The holiday season brings about quite a few family dinners and get-togethers that are centered around a meal. With aunts, uncles, or even just your immediate family, the kitchen can get a bit chaotic during the holiday season. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and distracted, and potentially forget about a pan on the stove or a simmering pot. 

The majority of kitchen fires begin with unattended pots and pans. While you’re cooking it’s important to remain present and aware of your surroundings. Another useful tip is to keep the clutter away as much as possible. 

Rockin’ around an open flame just isn’t as catchy…

The glow of your Christmas tree is beautiful, we agree, however, be sure you take precautions to ensure your safety. Be sure your tree remains hydrated and away from any heat source. According to the NFPA, 25% of the Christmas tree fires that occur do so because the tree was too close to a heat source, like a candle or space heater.  Christmas trees are one of the most common fire hazards during the holidays.

Yes, we know it is cold, yes, the ambiance of your fireplace is perfect, but please be careful. 

According to the NFPA, heating equipment is the second-greatest cause of home fires each year. We understand that heating your home is important, you need to stay warm and cozy during these cold months, however you also need to stay safe. The last thing you want is to be standing out in the freezing cold while the fire department hoses down your house!

When using a space heater, ensure it is at least 3 feet from items that might burn, including decor, upholstery, and your Christmas tree.

As far as your fireplace goes, be sure your damper is open, a protective screen is in play, and your gifts and other items remain far away. Fireplaces can crackle and release embers that could spark into something bigger and more dangerous.

Overpacking your outlet is not like overpacking for your holiday vacation… it’s worse.  

While there are plenty of things that need to be plugged in during the holiday season, it’s important to be careful not to overcrowd outlets. Electrical shorts and malfunctions are one of the leading causes of devastating electrical fires. 

As you string your lights and plug more decor into an outlet, be sure the outlet’s total load does not exceed 15 amps. While it may be tempting to have your house shining at all times during the holidays, be sure you turn off your decor when you leave the house and when you go to bed. 

Be aware of indoor and outdoor decor

As you decorate for each respective holiday, it’s important to test all lights and cords and replace anything faulty before you use them. Ensure all candles are placed out of reach of children and away from flammable objects, be sure to extinguish them before you leave the room and go to sleep. 

As far as outdoor decor goes, be sure to only use extension cords and light displays intended for outdoor use. Those cords should be kept away from both snow and standing water to avoid damage to the insulation. Be sure the cords are not pinched in doors, windows, or placed under furniture. Keep in mind, metal ladders conduct electricity, opt for a wood or fiberglass ladder instead. 

The last thing you need in 2020 is to lose a finger, be careful with your fireworks. 

You may want to celebrate the start of 2021 with fireworks, understandable, it’s tradition, but be aware of the potential safety hazards that fireworks come with. When used inappropriately, fireworks can present a few added risks. 

According to the NFPA, 10% of fireworks fires occur during the period from December 30- January 3, with a peak on New Years Day.

Be sure if you do set off fireworks on your own, you check local laws prior, you choose a location away from buildings and trees, and your spectators stand well away from the actual site. Keep water or a fire extinguisher close by in case of emergency. As we Californians know, if you’re experiencing a drought in your area, it is recommended that you cancel the show. 

While all of these safety precautions may seem daunting as you work to tackle the holidays, they are extremely important to your safety. From our team at VFS, we wish you happy and safe holidays!Top 7 Fire Hazards Around the Holidays

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Top 7 Fire Hazards Around the Holidays
Top 7 Fire Hazards Around the Holidays