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Any local firefighter will tell you that one of their busiest months of the year is December. This is no random coincidence but can be attributed to the fact that households tend to really amp up their electricity usage during the winter months. When you add in holiday candles, roaring fireplaces, and cranked up furnaces, you can have a recipe for disaster. But the good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can do things to protect your home and family from fire during the holiday season, you just need to follow a few simple but very effective rules.
Look below at 6 fire safety tips for your holiday home, and see how easy it can be to keep your home and family safe.
Keep your Christmas tree well-watered
One of the reasons that Christmas trees catch fire is the lights on them ignite the dried branches. Once a spark is lit, an entire tree can turn into a roaring fire fast. One way to avoid a fire hazard with your Christmas tree is to keep your real Christmas tree well-watered. This way, the branches stay supple and don’t dry out.
You can also use LED lights on your tree, which tend to be cooler and give off less heat than traditional Christmas tree lights. Both of these tips can help you enjoy your tree with safety in mind.
Get a chimney inspection at the start of the season
Before you light your first fire of the season, get a thorough chimney inspection. This can be done by a professional chimney sweep who will clean and inspect the fireplace and chimney. Built-up residue in your fireplace can be a fire hazard, so handling this now prior to your first log fire is important.
If you have a gas fireplace, now is still the time to have your fireplace inspected and serviced. You want to make sure all gas lines are working properly before your first fire of the season.
Put fresh batteries in all smoke detectors
Now is a good time to check batteries in all of your smoke detectors. Replace batteries with fresh ones so you know they are ready in case of an emergency. You can also replace batteries in your carbon monoxide detector during this time. This way, your family will be alerted in case of fire or issues that may arise with your furnace.
Inspect all Christmas lights
You should inspect all Christmas lights for both indoors and out prior to using them. Make sure the strand is in good working condition with no wires exposed. All of the bulbs should be complete and intact, with no bare sockets or cracked/broken bulbs. If you see any of these issues, the light strand should be replaced.
Use caution with candles
It can be tempting to set your home aglow with holiday candles. If you enjoy burning candles, be sure you use precaution. This means setting candles on a sturdy surface, and away from upholstery, curtains, rugs, and other hanging fabrics or flammable items. Never light candles if you won’t be in the room to monitor them.
Any type of burning oils, tealights, or wax melts should be treated with the same caution in mind. It only takes a second for a candle to ignite with a nearby object, so be mindful in your placement of candles and other candle heated fresheners.
Be mindful of electrical sockets
You might be tempted to use extension cords to power up all of your Christmas lights and decorations. Remember that you should use extension cords with extreme caution. It is best to limit outlets to just two cords, and if you do use extension cords to not hook up more than one per socket. Doing otherwise could cause a burden for the outlet and result in an outage or worse, fire.
Are you ready to enjoy your holiday home? Consider these 6 fire safety tips for your holiday home and see how easy it can be to create a space that not only looks great but gives you peace of mind.