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No matter if you and your family celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or another winter holiday, a couple things that many of these celebrations has in common are lights and fire. The winter holiday is one of the most popular seasons to use beautiful outdoor lighting, as it really ushers in the holiday spirit.
And while lights are a beautiful way to celebrate the holiday season, it’s important that you’re staying safe while doing so. Lights can cause fire hazards, and chords can be an obstruction, alongside many other safety concerns. According to News 4 The National Fire Protection Association reports more than 770 home fires are caused by holiday decorations every year. So, before you plug in those lights, be sure to read through these 5 safety tips to reduce fire hazards during the holiday season:
1) Be sure your indoor lights are not touching drapes, carpets, or any other furniture. Placing Christmas lights behind or on these objects can cause the heat to be trapped, increasing the chances of lights igniting. If certain materials are overheated, those seemingly harmless indoor lights can quickly become a fire hazard. You don’t want to get stuck calling the fire service during the holidays.
2) Use some sort of cord management system to keep loose cords and cables out of walkways. Electrical cords and cables of Christmas lights can cause people to trip and increase fall hazards, keep cables closer to the walls and away from areas where people walk through often. This is especially important if you’ve got young kids, elderly family, or pets in your home who can possibly trip over cords in high-traffic areas.
According to Electrical Safety Foundation International, about 3,300 home fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring 270 more. According to Express Electrical services, about half of all injuries from cords involve tripping over them. Ensuring that cables are placed in visible positions and not hidden behind rugs or furniture will help prevent tripping.
3) Before plugging lights into outlets, inspect the cords to make sure they aren’t frayed, broken, or badly bent. Damaged strings of lights or extension cords could cause injury and cause a fire. Inspecting wires for fraying and visible wires is a good preventive method. If after inspection, any of those are discovered, it’s probably best to discard the piece.
4) Keep open-flame candles away from flammable items, like drapes, bedding, paper, books. According to the Pennsylvania Office of the state fire commissioner, over 55% of home candle fires start because the candle is too close to some combustible material. Also, do not place candles in areas where they can easily be knocked over. Instead place candles in a safe candle holder and put them in a place away from the reach of children.
5) Got stockings or other decorations hanging from the mantle? Due to combustibility it is risky to place decorations and wrapped Christmas presents close to fireplaces. Don’t light that fireplace unless you’ve removed all stockings and other objects that are hanging near the fire. These items are extremely flammable and can catch fire just from the heat alone.
In addition, it is important to have your fireplace properly cleaned of any ashes or other substances before you light it . Cleaning your fireplace will prevent any unexpected fires.
And there you have it, folks! Five easy ways to keep you and your family safe and healthy this holiday season. Your safety should be top priority and all of these steps take just a few seconds to check but can make all the difference in your safety. The holiday season should be a time of safe celebration, and although decorations help usher in the holiday season , safety for you and your loved ones is priority.
All of these steps take just a few seconds to check but can make all the difference in your safety. If you think something might not be safe, it’s always best to go with your gut.
Stay safe this holiday season, and happy holidays from us.
In this post, we covered 5 safety tips to reduce fire hazards while you decorate this holiday season .
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