Festive decorations, candles and lights are some of the simple pleasures of the holiday season, but they sometimes lead to home fire disasters. According to the United States Fire Administration, fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of over 400 people, injure 1,650 more and cause over $990 million in damage each year. Tri State Restorations, a fire and water damage cleanup and restoration company serving Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC, offers these life-saving steps you can take to ensure a fire-free and happy holiday.
Donít set your Christmas tree up near a heat source, such as a fireplace or heat vent. If you choose a live Christmas tree, take it down after two weeks and be sure to keep the tree stand filled with water so it doesnít dry out. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service rather than burning it at home. If you choose an artificial tree, it should be labeled ďFire Resistant.Ē
Make sure there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections. If you are going to use your lights outdoors, check labels to be sure about their proper use. Avoid linking more than three light strands so that you donít overload electrical outlets. Donít leave the house with holiday lights on unattended.
Avoid using lit candles, especially if you have pets or children. Instead, many stores carry battery or electric powered candles that look just as bright and cheery. If you do use candles, make sure they are in stable holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning.
Use only nonflammable decorations and place them away from heat vents. Never use lighted candles as decorations on a tree. After the presents are unwrapped, donít burn wrapping paper and ribbon in your fireplace, since it could cause a chimney fire.
Home Fire Safety
Make sure your fire alarms and fire extinguishers are in working order. Know how to use your fire extinguishers. Keep important emergency phone numbers in a visible place, including the police and fire departments. Make sure your family has a fire escape plan and everyone knows their role.
Be Prepared in Case of a Fire
Finally, if you do have a holiday fire, contact a licensed, professional fire and smoke damage clean up and restoration company. Tri State Restorations provides emergency fire and water damage cleanup and restoration in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.