Christmas is almost here, but before the 25th is upon us, FP Property Restoration wants to make sure you and your family stay safe this December. As fire damage experts, we know firsthand how many flammable objects the average person has in their home, and how many flame-related risks are specifically associated with Christmas. Keep reading for our top 5 fire hazards to watch out for this holiday season, courtesy of our Florida restoration pros.
The Top 5 Fire Hazards to Watch Out for This Holiday Season Are:
- Christmas Lights: Whether they’re on the tree or on top of your house, Christmas lights are one of the most important parts of the holiday season for families in Florida and beyond. They’re also this time of year’s biggest fire risk. The first and foremost way to make sure your decorations are safe this holiday season is to buy lights that are safe and modern. You may love those old Christmas lights you got from your parents, but if they’re more than a few decades old, you’re going to want to toss them out. From wiring problems outside to overloaded outlets indoors, there are already enough fire hazards associated with lights—you don’t want to make things worse by using bulbs made pre-safety regulations. This goes double when it comes to your Christmas tree. Remember, lights are the cause of about 40% of Christmas tree fires, and as your tree gets dryer and more presents go under it over the course of the season, it becomes more and more important for you to make sure you are using those Christmas lights safely.
- Candles: Going caroling or looking to brighten up your home with some candlelight? Make sure you are using safe candles with a good wick. It’s also important to keep candles out of reach of children, and at least a foot away from any object that could catch fire. It’s estimated that two out of every five house fires are started because of a candle, so you may also want to just go with flameless, battery-operated candles before lighting up this holiday season.
- Fireplaces: While fireplaces may not be as common in the warm state of Florida, it is extremely important if your home or business does have a fireplace that you operate it carefully. Make sure that the damper/vent is open and that the flue is unobscured before you start a fire, and only use materials that are safe to burn. And even if you have a gas or electric fireplace, don’t assume this equipment is safer, as these types of fireplaces can still release toxic, fire-causing chemicals. You should also clean your fireplace before it is used every year, and don’t ever put anything flammable near the fireplace, in case sparks accidentally fly.
- Stoves/Ovens: Cooking any big meals for your annual family gathering? Make sure to watch that pot! While the saying says it will never boil, statistics actually indicate that unattended cooking devices are the leading cause of kitchen fires. Keep an eye on your stove, oven, and all other main kitchen appliances before Christmas dinner, and if there are too many cooks in the kitchen, feel free to kick them out!
- Space Heaters: In Florida, it is not uncommon for homeowners to run space heaters and other portable heating systems in the winter, rather than relying on a full HVAC system to provide warmth. While these devices are often an efficient and economical way to heat various rooms, they can also cause fires if left unattended. Never run a space heater when you are not in the room, and try to make sure your heater is plugged into a 20-amp circuit, so it does not overload your electrical system. These devices should also be placed far away from Christmas trees, and never run through an extension cord.
For more Christmas safety tips, dial (888) 408-2335 now, or contact our Florida restoration pros online.