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Holiday Safety Tips for Your Home

Holiday Safety Tips for Your Home

Ensuring our community has a safe holiday season is at the top of our wish list. Winter season accounts for the highest occurrence of residential fires. Most fires and injuries are preventable by taking precautions. 

The holidays are a time for celebration and that means more cooking! Cooking fires remain the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries. The most common is when the cook becomes distracted and leaves the kitchen. In order to drastically reduce your risk of a cooking fire, follow this recipe for safety.  

  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking. 
  • Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves.  
  • Keep the area around the stove clear of towels, papers, potholders or anything that can burn. 
  • Cook at indicated temperature settings rather than higher settings.  
  • Keep a pot lid handy to smother a pan fire. Do not attempt to pick up the pot or pan. Shut off the heat and cover the fire with a lid. NEVER USE WATER! It will cause splashing and spread the fire.  

During the months of December, January and February, home-heating equipment (central heating units, portable and fixed space heaters and fireplaces) are the second leading cause of home fires. The major causes of home heating fires are poorly maintained systems, placing space heaters too close to combustible items and flaws in installation of the heating units. 

Candle fires have tripled in the past ten years. In fact, candle fires peak on Christmas day, followed by New Years and Christmas Eve. If you burn candles for decorative or ritual purposes, make your home safer by:  

  • Using a sturdy candle holder.  
  • Placing candles at least 4 feet away from curtains, decorations, bedding. 
  • Placing candles out of reach of children and pets.  
  • Never leaving burning candles unattended. Always extinguish before going to bed.  

Is your Smoke Alarm Working? 

A smoke alarm is the single most valuable device you can have in your home. An operable smoke alarm can nearly reduce your chances of dying in a fire by half. 

Christmas trees are enjoyed in many homes during the holiday season. However, both real and artificial trees pose a risk of fire. Defective lighting, including electrical cords and plugs, cause almost half of all Christmas tree fires. Protect your family with the following fire prevention tips:  

  • When choosing an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled as fire-retardant. When choosing a real tree, select the freshest tree available.   
  • Place the tree away (at least three feet) from heat sources. 
  • Try to position the tree near an electrical outlet to minimize use of extension cords. 
  • Unplug the tree lights when out of the room and before going to sleep.  

Even if you keep your tree properly watered, it will naturally start to dry out. Discard the tree immediately after the holiday. 

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