How To Keep Your Home Safe From Fire During the Holidays (and Year-Round)

As a homeowner or renter, a fire in your home can be one of the most devastating – and deadly -hazards you face. Here are some statistics from the United States Fire Administration: In 2010, 362,100 residential fires occurred in the U.S., resulting in 2,555 deaths, 13,275 injuries and more than $6.6 billion in property damage.

As with any potential hazard, prevention is key. Here’s a checklist of steps you can take to keep your home safe from fire.

Lighting and Cords

  • Never “stack” too many electrical items into the same outlet by using splitters, extension cords with multiple outlets, etc.
  • If an electrical appliance smokes or smells unusual, unplug it immediately and have it fixed or replaced.
  • Use bulbs of the correct wattage for all light fixtures.

In the Kitchen

  • To extinguish grease fires, keep baking soda near your stove or range. Don’t use water, which will spread the flames.
  • Keep your stove’s exhaust fan and range hood free of grease.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.

In the Laundry Room

  • Never leave home with the clothes dryer running.
  • Clean dryer vents frequently, and clean december global holidays the lint screen after each load to keep the airway clear.
  • Make regular safety checks of your home’s major systems (heating/cooling). It’s best to hire a professional to inspect them.
  • Keep doors and window clear of furniture or other large objects.

Flammables

  • Don’t put straw, hay or other flammable materials under your home.
  • Store flammable liquids (paint thinner, gasoline, etc.,) in approved containers outside your home, never under your home.
  • Fires started by cigarettes cause more deaths than any other type of fire. If you smoke:

· Don’t smoke in bed or when you’re drowsy.

· Extinguish butts and ashes with water before disposing.

· Better yet, don’t allow smoking in your home.

Preventing Holiday Fires

Did you know that a dry Christmas tree can take less than 30 seconds to engulf a room in flames? Sadly, a disproportionate number of home fires occur during what’s supposed to be a joyous time of year. Here are some tips to help keep your home and family safe this holiday season.

Live Christmas Trees

  • Make sure to get a “fresh cut” on the base of your tree. Buy a fresh tree (with strong, tight needles) and water it every day.
  • Never place a tree next to fireplaces, heater vents or any heat source. Also, keep the tree out of traffic areas to avoid knocking it over.
  • A well-watered tree will dry out after a month, so plan accordingly. If you want to keep your tree until New Year’s, buy it no earlier than the second week of December.

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