Holiday Season Fire Safety Tips: Don’t Let Flames Ruin Your Holiday Fun

During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the danger of fire is always lurking.  Don’t let flames ruin your festivities.  With proper preparedness, you can keep your family safe from disaster. Below are some of the top causes of holiday fires and how to prevent them from breaking out in your home..

Cooking in the Kitchen

Cooking is the leading cause of reported house fires and injuries.  According to the U.S. Fire Administration, nearly 52-percent of residential fires were sparked by cooking in 2020.  Heating, electrical, smoking and candles are the other top causes of  home house fires.

Most fires in the kitchen can be blamed on unattended cooking. Keep an eye on the stove at all times.  Stay put while you are frying, boiling, grilling or broiling food.  If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly.  Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.

If you have a small grease fire on the stovetop, turn off the burner and smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan.  Keep the cover on until the pot has cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.  According to the National Fire ProtectionAssociation, If you have any doubt, just get out, close the door and call 911.

Christmas Trees

Live trees that are not properly watered can dry out and easily go up in flames.

Be sure to keep yours well watered, replace any bad lights, remove nearby heat sources, and unplug the lights overnight and when you’re not home.  Dry Christmas trees are blamed for hundreds of fires each year.  Typical causes are shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches.

Electrical Malfunctions

When hanging lights or electrical decorations outside, make sure they are labeled for outdoor use.  Same goes for extension cords.  Hang the lights with UL-rated clips, not staples or nails.  Never connect multiple extension cords together. Discard wires and bulbs that are frayed or broken.

Candle Flames

Keep lit candles away from the Christmas tree, greenery, and other flammable decorations.

Place them on a countertop or another area a safe distance away.  Never leave candles lit while you are not home or nearby.  Also, keep wrapping paper, rugs and clothing at least three feet away from the fireplace.  Use a fireplace screen to keep embers and logs from escaping.

Smoking

Cigarettes, pipes, cigars and other smoking materials start thousands of house fires annually.

According to a  2019  report by the National Fire Protection Association, smoking materials caused an estimated 18,000 fires annually between 2012 and 2016, killing nearly 600 people every year and injuring more than 1,100 others.  Smoking was the leading cause of home fire deaths over the five year period.  The majority of smoking-related fires started on the outdoor balcony or porch.

 Fire Safety Tips to Remember

A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a house fire. Install a fire alarm on every level of your home, including sleeping areas and the basement.

Test them monthly and replace batteries twice a year.   Create a fire escape plan with your family.  Get a fire extinguisher for your kitchen and consider putting an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home.

Let Us Clean it Up

When it comes to water, flood or fire damage,  Flood Department is here to help. We provide water damage repair and clean-up services for homeowners and businesses in  Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.  We are dedicated to helping reverse the damage done by water, mold, sewage, smoke and more.  Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online.