The holiday season is in full swing in Westchester and Fairfield Counties. This time of year is notorious for an increase in fires because of the heightened usage of electricity. While you retrieve boxes of decorations and use your fireplace for the first time, consider adding the following safety precautions into your everyday winter routine to avoid fire and smoke damage.
During the winter months your heaters are being used on overdrive. That alone can pose a large fire risk. When you add flammable decorations and open flame candles for the holidays to the mix, your fire risk increases even more. According to the NFPA, more than 1/3 of home decoration fires are started by candles. Consider opting for battery operated candles to reduce the amount of fire hazards in your home. If you choose to stick with traditional candles, a good rule of thumb is to keep them at least 12 inches from any flammable items. Before you hang holiday decorations or put up a Christmas tree, plan to do so three feet away from any heat source.
Electric lights are fairly safe if you use them correctly. However, there are many malpractices to avoid. Start by choosing the correct lights by reading the label before purchase. Make sure the lights you buy are approved by a credible testing lab and you’re sticking with lights that are intended for either indoor or outdoor use, based on your needs. Ignoring these aspects of your lights can lead to a disaster. According to the NFPA, electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 43% of home Christmas tree fires. Avoid overloading outlets and connecting too many strands of lights together. Doing so can cause your breakers to short circuit. If you string lights around a live tree, make sure it stays hydrated. When the tree dries out, dispose of it immediately.
Holiday parties and food usually go hand in hand. It’s great to indulge in family recipes, however, large amounts of cooking is also a fire hazard. According to the NFPA Peak days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Practice safe cooking habits before a holiday meal to ensure everything runs smoothly on the big day. Never leave stovetops unattended, clean stoves and ovens and double check that appliances are turned off after every use. In addition, avoid hanging decorations around cooking appliances. According to the NFPA, Cooking equipment is involved in 20% of home decoration fires. Keep your kitchen clear of decorative items and let your cooking speak for itself.
We wish you a happy and safe holiday season! Hopefully incorporating these holiday fire precautions into your routine will keep you from experiencing fire and smoke damage in Westchester and Fairfield Counties. If you do, ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning & Restoration Services can help. Contact us day or night to request emergency restoration services. In your time of need, our team can be on-site within two hours of your call.