How to Prevent Home Fires During Christmas
By: The Experts at
It seems as if every year the holiday season begins earlier. Along-side Halloween costumes in the stores are dancing Santa’s and reindeer. But in our mad dash to get our home decorated for the holidays and organize the gatherings, it’s easy to forget about the additional fire hazards that come with this time of year. To keep your family safe, keep these tips in mind to prevent fires:
Christmas Tree - Let’s face it, bringing a 4 ft. to 8 ft. tree into your home that is only being held up by a small stand with four screws is just asking for trouble with a toddler in the home. I can remember at least one time in my childhood hearing the tree come crashing to the floor in the middle of the night. Toddlers will naturally be attracted by this new item in your home and equally fascinated by the lights. To prevent the tree from falling wrap green gardening twine around the mid-section of the tree. There are extension gates that can be assembled as large as you require. Once you have placed the lights on the tree, be sure to tape any extra length of cord directly to the wall to prevent your toddler from pulling on it and pets from biting it and potentially causing a fire.
Ornaments - While you may have many family ornaments that you have used to decorate your tree in the past, store any glass ones away for the next few years. Along with the potential risk of broken glass cutting your child, a curious toddler will try to put one in her mouth. Make sure smaller ornaments are placed towards the top of the tree and consider decorating the bottom with ribbons or larger cloth-covered ornaments.
Christmas Tree Lights – Never attach more than three strands of lights together. Pick up some extension cords and read the directions carefully for the best way to light your tree. Some stores may even carry cords designed to go up the trunk of your tree to individually light each strand. Also, make sure you keep them high enough so that your pets don’t think they’re chew toys! Electrical fires are no way to start your holiday season.
Fireplace - Nothing is cozier than a roaring fire but make sure children are aware of the dangers. If you have a fireplace in your home, make sure you securely fasten gate or screen in front to protect your area rugs, carpets and furniture from loose embers, and to keep your children safe from burns. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby at all times.
Cooking - Whether your kids are helping you bake a gingerbread house or just heating up a cup of hot chocolate, establish some safety rules. Make sure they understand to stay away from hot appliances or plugging in electrical appliances with wet hands.
Candles – It’s easy to forget and leave a candle burning when you go to bed. There’s also the chance of a taper candle falling over and igniting a table cloth or drape. There is a wide array of scented electric candles that will look just as beautiful and be much safer to use.