For many people, the holiday season brings plenty of joy. Spending time with loved ones around a decorated Christmas tree, getting cozy around a fire, or cooking favorite foods are just a few things that make the holidays magical. While many people safely celebrate the holiday season, it is sadly a common time of year to have a house fire. In fact, holiday fire statistics can be a little startling. According to the American Red Cross, there are nearly 47,000 fires during the winter holidays, causing around $554 million in property damage.
While a house fire during the holiday season can certainly be devastating, a little bit of holiday fire safety precaution can go a long way. Here are a few safety tips to follow, such as Christmas tree fire safety tips, that can help prevent a house fire.
Common Holiday Fire Risks
Several culprits are often to blame for house fires during the holidays. Here are a few common holiday fire risks and how you can help your house stay fire-free.
Christmas trees can be a common fire hazard during the holiday season. In fact, between the years 2015-2019, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees each year. If you’re wondering how to prevent your Christmas tree from catching fire, here are a few tips.
- Place Christmas trees or any holiday decorations at least three feet away from any heat source, such as a fireplace, portable heaters, radiators, candles, and heat vents.
- If purchasing a real tree, ensure that it has fresh needles and keep it moist by watering it frequently. If using an artificial tree, purchase a flame retardant tree.
- Always unplug any holiday or tree lights before going to bed or leaving the house. Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
If you’re wondering, can a candle in a glass jar start a fire? The answer is yes. Technically, any open flame inside a house can turn into a house fire. Unfortunately, fires started by candles are even more common in the winter. The American Red Cross has estimated that candle fires are four times as likely to occur during the winter holidays. To practice candle safety, here are a few tips.
- Never leave a candle unattended.
- Never touch or move a candle while it is burning or while the wax is liquefied.
- Place burning candles at least three inches apart from each other.
- Extinguish a candle if the flame is too high or flickers repeatedly.
- Keep the wick trimmed to ¼”. Long wicks cause dripping, burning, or flaring.
- Do not burn a candle for more than four hours and let it cool for at least two hours before reheating.
- Keep burning candles away from drapes, furniture, bedding, books, carpets, paper, and any flammable decorations.
Practicing Christmas light safety is essential during the holiday season. Any decorative lights placed on a Christmas tree or around the house can become a fire hazard. One of the most important safety precautions you should take is to unplug any tree or holiday lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
Do not allow the lights to be on for extended periods. Even LED lights can overheat and cause a fire. Any lights should be thoroughly inspected before using them for decorations. Never use any frayed or damaged Christmas lights.
All that extra time spent in the kitchen during the holidays can mean more fire hazards. However, with a few holiday fire safety precautions, you can cook and bake safely and avoid a fire. Here are a few safety tips to follow while baking your Christmas cookies this holiday season:
- Keep anything that can catch fire, such as oven mitts, pot holders, wooden utensils, food packaging, and curtains away from your stovetop.
- Always stay in the kitchen while you’re boiling, broiling, frying, or grilling your food.
- Use a loud kitchen timer to help remind you when something needs to be removed from the heat.
- Stay alert! Don’t use the stove or stovetop if you’ve consumed alcohol or are tired.
Other Important Holiday Fire Safety Tips
One of the most essential tips to keep your home safe from fires this holiday season is to do a final fire hazard check each evening. Walk around the house before bedtime or before leaving the house to eliminate hazards. You can extinguish all candles, ensure all kitchen appliances are off and unplug any Christmas lights.
Above all, the biggest tip is to install smoke alarms in all living areas and to check them often. Test all smoke alarms once a month and replace all batteries at least once a year. Complete an extra check before the holiday season to give yourself peace of mind. Making sure your smoke alarms are in working shape will help to keep everyone safe in the event of a fire.
Of course, house fires don’t just happen during the holiday months, so it’s important to follow all safety precautions to prevent house fires.
Fire Restoration in Utah from Bull Matrix
Sometimes, even after taking all the best holiday fire safety precautions, fires can happen. If you’ve experienced fire damage in Utah, call us for emergency service. We understand that fires can happen at any moment, and we’re here to help. For fire restoration in Utah, contact us today.