The holidays are a time of joy and celebration, but they can also be a time of accidents and injuries if something goes wrong. Fire safety is essential during the winter when families enjoy candles and holiday decorations and fireplaces are in use. Here are a few tips for fire safety during the holidays to ensure your holiday season is merry and safe.
Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays
Keep Flammables Away from Heat Sources
Candles, fireplaces, space heaters, and other heat sources need to be used at a safe distance from flammable materials. Furniture, draperies, rugs, table linens, and holiday decorations can melt or catch fire. Keep these items at least five feet away from heat and flames to prevent a fire.
Fireplace Safety During the Holidays
Fireplaces make the holiday season feel complete, but it is essential to take safety precautions when enjoying the flames. Before lighting your fireplace, have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional. Creosote buildup in the chimney can cause fires if allowed to accumulate. Never burn wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, or other packaging, as these materials can produce toxic fumes.
When burning wood in your fireplace, only use seasoned hardwood such as oak or maple because these types of wood have less moisture, making them less likely to spark or smoke than softwood varieties.
Before building a fire, clear the area around your hearth of books, newspapers, children’s toys, and other items that may catch fire.
Check the Holiday Lights Every Year
Before hanging up your holiday lights each year, thoroughly inspect them for frayed wires, cracked sockets, broken bulbs, or other signs of damage. Use lights designed specifically for outdoor use if you plan on decorating outside.
Never Leave Candles Unattended
Never leave burning candles unattended; extinguish them when leaving the house or going to bed for the evening. Even small tealights can lead to a house fire. When enjoying candles, use a sturdy, fire-resistant holder made of glass or metal. Keep candles away from flammable materials, including holiday decor.
In addition to following these tips for fire safety during the holidays, test the smoke detectors in your home to verify that they are working. Smoke detectors are essential for sounding an early warning in case a fire does occur. Install these devices on every floor of your home and in each bedroom.
Enjoy a safe and healthy holiday season with family and friends.