The holidays are a time when we set aside practicality to indulge whimsical tradition and fantasy. We hang twinkling lights from the rooftops and bring live trees into our living rooms. We all need to take a break from the mundane world once in a while, but the magic of the holidays can be ruined in an instant by a serious injury or carelessly placed candle. Follow these holiday safety tips to prevent fires and other catastrophes.
The United States Fire Administration reports that winter is peak season for house fires. You can prevent fires in your home by taking a few common-sense precautions. Candles are one of the top causes of holiday fire damage. Consider using battery-operated lights instead of candles to lower your risk. If candles are an important part of your holiday celebration, be careful not to place them too close to flammable curtains, greeting cards, or your Christmas tree.
Check the wiring on your Christmas lights. If the wires are frayed, replace them, even if they still work. The cost of new lights is minimal compared to the cost of fire damage restoration.
If your holiday tradition involves allowing children to light candles, keep child safety in mind. Rather than allowing a child to use matches, cut a hole in a paper cup and push a long taper candle through the hole, making a hand guard. Light the taper for the child, and help them use the taper to light the other candles. The paper cup will protect the child’s hand from burns caused by dripping wax.
Always supervise children near the fireplace, and teach them basic fire safety practices.
Fire Damage Cleanup
If you do have a house fire this winter, there are professionals on call to help you get your home and your life back to normal. If the incident was fairly minor, you may be able to do some of the fire damage cleanup yourself. However, if there is any structural damage, you will need to call in a fire damage restoration team. They will evaluate the full extent of the damage and give you a clear explanation of what needs to be done to restore or rebuild your home.
Image courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association