The holiday season is a time for celebration and joy, but it's also a time when fire accidents are more likely to occur. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas tree fires alone cause an average of 210 home fires per year, resulting in an average of six deaths, 22 injuries, and $16.7 million in property damage. To help keep your home safe and prevent fires, here are some fire safety tips to follow during the holiday season:
- Make sure to water your Christmas tree regularly. A dry tree is a major fire hazard, so make sure to check the water level in the stand daily.
- Don't overload your electrical outlets. With all the holiday lights and decorations, it's easy to overload your outlets. Make sure to use power strips and surge protectors to distribute the electrical load.
- Keep flammable items away from heat sources. This includes Christmas trees, decorations, and wrapping paper. Keep these items at least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators, and other heat sources.
- Use caution with candles. Candles are a common cause of house fires during the holidays. Always keep candles away from flammable materials and never leave them unattended. Consider using flameless candles as an alternative.
- Check your smoke alarms. Make sure all your smoke alarms are working properly and have fresh batteries. This is especially important if you have guests staying in your home.
- Have an emergency plan in place. Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do in case of a fire. This should include an evacuation plan and a meeting place outside the home.
- Be extra careful when cooking. The kitchen is the most common place for fires to start in the home, so be extra cautious when cooking during the holidays. Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop, and keep an eye on what's cooking.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children. Children are curious and may be attracted to matches and lighters. Keep these items out of reach and locked up to prevent accidents.
- Don't leave your home with the stove or oven on. It's easy to get caught up in the holiday rush, but it's important to always check that your stove and oven are turned off before leaving your home.
By following these simple fire safety tips, you can help keep your home safe and prevent fires during the holiday season. Enjoy your celebrations, but be sure to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.