Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without seasonal decorations such as Christmas trees and twinkling lights. These accessories make the holidays more joyful, but not being cautious when using them can lead to unwanted situations. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), there are more than double the amount of fires on Christmas Day than on any other day of the year. Here are some ways to prevent fires in your home during the holidays:
- Choose an artificial Christmas tree instead of a real one, since artificial trees are less likely to start a fire. Make sure the tree is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
- Position trees at a good distance from heat sources, such as radiators and fireplaces.
- If you use extension cords to light up multiple indoor lights, consider plugging them into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for extra safety.
- If you have outdoor decorative lights, ensure that they’re securely fastened to trees, gutters and/or other parts of the home. Use secure clips to prevent the wind from whipping them and lights from breaking.
- Unattended cooking is the most common culprit of kitchen fires. Never leave food unattended when cooking.
- Test your smoke detectors before the holidays and be sure to have fire extinguishers ready if a fire starts.
- Leave one foot of space between candles and anything else and make sure the candle holders or bases are stable. Don’t leave candles burning when you leave the room or going to bed. Always supervise them.
- If your home has a fireplace, have the chimney inspected and cleaned before using. Place a protective screen around the fireplace to prevent embers from reaching your carpet or other materials.
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