Unfortunately, the holidays are one of the most common times for house fires and accidents. Here are some helpful tips and best practices to protect your home from fires or disasters, from menorahs to Christmas trees while you’re home for the holidays.
- Keep your menorah away from any flammable materials. During Hannukah, it is best to keep the menorah at least 3 feet away from all flammable items such as curtains, tablecloths, or any other holiday decorations. Ensure you place a non-flammable surface underneath to catch the melting wax, such as a tray lined with aluminum foil. And of course, never leave your candles unattended while lit!
- Christmas Tree
- Unplug the Christmas tree lights before you leave the house or go to sleep and try not to crowd the outlet or power strip. It is also important to double-check for any worn or broken lights before plugging them in. Lastly, if your Christmas tree is real, be sure to water the tree regularly to avoid the pine needles or wood from getting too dry.
- Decorative Lights
- It’s essential to double-check the light’s intended use before putting up for decoration as some lights are only for outdoor purposes. Outdoor cords have specific insulation that keeps them protected against moisture and drastic temperature changes. Additionally, outdoor cords and power strips use more power than indoor lights and cords, which may cause them to overheat more than indoor lights.
- Make sure you keep lit candles away from any flammable materials such as paper, cloth, or plastic. Try not to let the candles burn to the bottom of the container, and make sure they are all blown out before leaving the room or going to sleep.
- Avoid Stove Distractions
- While cooking during the holiday season, there may be distractions such as house guests or family or friends’ calls. Make sure you don’t leave the stove unattended for an extended time and make sure all kitchen towels and grocery bags are away from the oven.
- Clean the Stove Regularly
- Since you may be cooking more than usual during the holiday season, it’s normal for the stove and surrounding counters to get messy. Try to clean up any large oil spills or splatters to help avoid a potential grease fire.
- If you light a fire in your fireplace, make sure the embers are completely out before going to sleep or leaving the house. All you have to do is pour water over the embers to make sure nothing is still burning or glowing.
Pets & Children
- Try to keep any lights, candles, or potentially flammable decorations on higher surfaces in the home or any surface that is out of reach of a pet or child.