Fire Damage Prevention Tips for the Holiday Season
December is one of the most dangerous times of year for household fires. As you prepare for this month’s festivities, take note of these tips to reduce your risk of smoke and fire damage during the holiday season.
How to Avoid Holiday Fires and Damage to Your Home
Did you know that residential fires during the holidays are more frequent, costlier, and deadlier than any other time of year? According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), property loss during a holiday fire is 34% greater than in average fire, and the number of fatalities per thousand fires is nearly 70% higher. When the source of the fire is a highly flammable Christmas tree, that likelihood is even greater.
To keep your home from becoming a holiday fire statistic, consider these quick safety tips:
Cooking accidents are the top contributors of holiday fires, and the most common culprit being food left unattended. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to get distracted. Simply take a pot holder with you when you leave the kitchen as a reminder that you have something cooking on the stove. Always keep a working fire extinguisher on hand at home in case of emergency. Ensure that your home’s smoke detectors are working and in good condition.
Candle fires are four times more likely during the month of December than during any other time of year. The USFA states that four out of five most dangerous days of the year for residential candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
Minimize the risk of fire damage to your home by maintaining a foot of space between the candle and flammable objects. Place candles on sturdy bases and never leave flames unattended. Before bed, do a walk-through of each room in the house to ensure all candles have been put out. An even better alternative? Consider flameless LED candles.
According to the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Standards and Technology, it takes less than 30 seconds for a dry Christmas tree to engulf a room in flames. Reduce the risk of fire by choosing a freshly cut tree with intact needles and water it every day. Keep the tree away from heat sources like fireplaces or radiators, and out of congested areas of the home with the most foot traffic.
For those using live garlands and other greenery this holiday season, keep them at least three feet away from sources of heat. Remember that your tree will inevitably start to dry out in about four weeks, so don’t forget to take it down once the holidays have passed. The most effective way to fight the risk of fire and smoke damage? Choose an artificial Christmas tree; just make sure yours is flame retardant.
Inspect string lights and toss any frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. When decking the halls, don’t run more than three sets of string lights end to end, as stacking the plugs is a much safer bet when using large quantities of decorative lights. Extension cords should be in solid condition and UL-rated for indoor/outdoor use. Monitor outdoor trash receptacles to make sure that ground fault interrupters don’t trip. When hanging lights outside, avoid using nails or staples which can damage the wiring and increase the risk of fire.
Happy Holidays from Your Friends at ServiceMaster Clean and Restore!
With the holiday season quickly approaching, keep your home safe with these tips for preventing smoke and fire damage. For more ways to lower your risk of smoke and fire damage, contact the ServiceMaster Cleaning and Restoration services team to learn more. For expert property restoration and 24-hour emergency services, give us a call today.
Cleaning Service in Palm Beach County
ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration Services is the leading authority when it comes to residential and commercial disaster restoration, floor care services, and carpet and upholstery cleaning. In addition to providing expert water and fire restoration services in the Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Delray, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens and the greater West Palm Beach area, we offer mold remediation for your home or office. If needed, we also provide pack-out services after you’ve experienced a disaster, and can quickly and safely remove unaffected items from your home or office to assist in the restoration process. For more information, please visit us online at www.svmcr.com or call (561) 242-2798.