Winter is the most prevalent season for house fires, but knowing the facts and implementing safety tips will make your holiday more enjoyable and safer for your family.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA.org), U.S. fire departments respond to a fire every 25 seconds with more than 1.2 million fires, which accounts for approximately $11.5 billion in property damage. The holidays are peak time for home fires due to cooking accidents, electrical failures, dry trees, space heaters, fireplaces, candles, and holiday lights, to name a few. For more information, visit the NFPA safety website at http://tinyurl.com/hlthgrs.
Paul Davis Restoration of Utah, a leading provider of fire, water and mold damage emergency and restoration services for residential and commercial properties, offers the following tips to make the holidays safe.
Trees: Water your holiday tree often, ensure there are no faulty lights, and keep the tree away from heat sources like fireplaces and space heaters. The NFPA Video shows just how flammable a dry tree is versus one that is watered regularly. Consider a ‘fire resistant’ artificial tree instead.
Holiday Lights: Check for melted or damaged wires/plugs on your holiday light strands and turn all lights off while away from home.
Cooking: Turn pot handles inwards to prevent accidents in the kitchen.
Avoid wearing loose clothing which can ignite easily.
Don’t store items on the stove.
The leading cause of home structure fires is from cooking and accounts for two out of every five house fires.
Designate the kitchen as a “kid-free zone,” especially during the holidays.
Fireplace: Hanging stockings in front of the fireplace is a common practice, but make sure stockings are hung elsewhere while the fireplace is in use. Fireplace screens or glass doors are good investments, especially when children are in the house.
Candles: Keep candles out of the reach of children and blow each candle out before exiting your home. Electrical candles are great alternatives and give a similar effect.
Fire Escape Plan: Know your escape routes and practice with family members. Purchase fire extinguishers for every floor of the home and test smoke detectors.
Emergency Preparedness Kit: Keep contact numbers handy for first responders, doctors, and insurance carriers. In case of destruction to your home or office, contact a licensed, emergency services and property damage restoration company at pdutah.com.