Every year, we hear about holiday fires that kill people, cause extensive injuries and destroy property. Just what is it about our holiday activities that are so hazardous, and how can we minimize holiday fire hazards?
1. A major source of fires during the Christmas holidays is the Christmas tree. Often allowed to dry out, the tree can catch fire easily from heat sources such as fireplaces and space heaters; from frayed or faulty electric wiring; or from candles. Choose a tree that is green, with plump needles and minimal shedding. Keep it well watered in a deep container. Cut off the first 2 inches or so on a slant so the tree can uptake water better.
2. Holiday lighting is another major cause of fires — and not just with regard to the tree. Lights strung outdoors or indoors can cause fires, particularly if you have too many strands plugged into one socket. Get rid of all light strands that are frayed. Check the amps on your lights to see how many you can string together and plug into one circuit.
3. Use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors. Exposing indoor lights to moisture can create a hazard. Also, watch for broken bulbs, as stepping on them can create an electrical hazard.
4. Fireplaces and other heat sources may cause holiday fires. There’s nothing like a roaring fire at Christmastime, but watch out for all that holiday paper that’s thrown around during the gift unwrapping, and make sure the kids (or holiday revelers) don’t stand too close to the fire.
5. Be careful with lit candles. It’s easy to forget you have lit candles around the home during the holidays and easy too to back into them or knock them over. Never put them on a Christmas tree, and always extinguish the flames if you’re leaving the house or going to bed.
Make sure, above all, that your smoke monitors are tested and working right for the holidays.
For more on holiday fire hazards, contact Powers Heating and Air of Peachtree City.