While the winter holidays are a time for joy and celebration, the risk of fires and other accidents are also increased during this time. Decorations such as candles and lights are potential fire hazards if handled carelessly. Here are some tips to prevent fires in homes and properties during the winter holidays:
- Holiday decorations that are flame-resistant or flame-retardant should be used.
- Battery-operated candles should be used instead of real candles. If real candles are used, exercising caution is required. Children should be watched at all times when candles are lit.
- Matches and lighters must be kept in a locked cabinet out of children’s reach.
- Candles should be kept away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles. Nearly half of holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.
- Only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory should be used. When hanging lights, clips should be used instead of nails, so the cords do not get damaged.
- Each set of lights, new or old, should be checked for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. No more than three strands of mini light sets should be inserted into an outlet.
- Exits must be kept clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
- When cooking, the oven or stove should always be supervised. When leaving the kitchen even for a short period of time, the cooking device must be turned off.
- Smokers should be asked to smoke outside where large, deep ashtrays are available.
- Christmas trees must be handled with extra caution. Christmas tree safety tips are available here.
- Property owners should ensure that smoke alarms are working and must test them at least once a month by pushing the test button.
- Those who are hosting a holiday party should tell their guests about their family’s fire escape plan. More safety tips for hosting a holiday party can be found here.
By following these tips and using common sense, fire disasters during the holidays can be easily avoided. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.