5 Holiday Fire Safety Tips
Twinkling lights, blazing firesides and aromatic candles envelop the holiday environment with joy. While festive seasonal decorations are integral to promoting a cheery atmosphere, improperly handling them can spark a raging holiday fire. Practice these fire safety tips so everyone stays merry and safe.
1. Christmas Tree Safety
Every year, 210 holiday fires erupt when Christmas trees come in contact with lighters or open candle flames or when electrical shorts send sparks flying. Dry, neglected trees pose as a major fire safety threat. While holiday tree fires are uncommon, when they occur, the consequences can be devastating.
A healthy tree offers a safe start to the merry month. Choose a fresh tree with green needles that fail to drop off. Cut two inches from the base of the tree and add water to the stand daily. A well-watered tree catches fire less quickly, allowing time for escape.
Position the tree at least three feet away from commonplace heat sources, such as a radiator, fireplace, heat vents and lights. Candles create a welcoming ambiance, but they can trigger a fire if placed near the tree. Never put lit wax candles on the branches of a live tree.
Ensure the holiday tree does not block any exits. Fire safety after the holidays is just as important, so recycle the tree immediately after the 25th or when the tree is dry. Statistics reveal that in the ten days with the most tree fires, zero occur before Christmas.
2. Lighting Safety
One-fourth of all tree fires are sparked by electrical issues; faulty lighting causes 40 percent of Christmas tree fires. Inspect light strings before winding them around the tree or home. Taking the time to look for frayed wires and damaged bulbs can prevent electrical shock or an electric fire.
Overheated holiday lights are a fire hazard. Consider purchasing LED lights that feature epoxy lenses when seeking to replace last year’s lighting. LED lights are cool upon handling and draw less electricity. Switching to LED holiday lights will help to prevent the tree from catching fire.
Older holiday lighting may not feature the UL Safety Certification, which is provided by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). When buying lights, look for ones with the UL Safety Certification stamp. These lights are far safer to use when lighting up the family home.
Indoor holiday lighting cannot be used to embellish the home’s exterior. Each string of lights displays a disclaimer that advises its use for either the indoors or outdoors. Heed the warning, as indoor lights that are exposed to moisture (snow or rain) are likely to lead to a hazardous situation.
A luminous nighttime glow of holiday lights is spectacular; but do not leave the lights on overnight. Even LED lights may overheat and spark a fire, especially if hung on a dry Christmas tree. Shut off the lights with a smartphone app or timer before turning in each night.
3. Candle Safety
December is the peak month for candle fires. Traditional candles, as opposed to electric ones, may still have a place during the holidays if precautions are in place. Keep all flammable materials, such as drapes and holiday décor, at least three feet away from the flaming candles.
Remain present wherever lit candles burn. A lit menorah should have a secure place on a non-flammable surface or tray that will catch the melting wax. To ensure maximum safety, especially when older or younger guests are in the home, choose electric candles instead.
4. Fireplace Safety
Nothing beats the chill of winter’s holidays like the warm glow of a fireplace. The season, however, is filled with fuel—wrapping paper, paper boxes, rugs and clothing. Keep flammable materials at least three feet away from the lit fireplace. Use a fire screen to help control the embers.
Take care of the fireplace post-holiday. Avoid placing the holiday tree or any of its branches into the fireplace, as fast-burning sparks will fly; the fireplace will rage, emitting overpowering smoke, heat and flames from its opening. Rather than perilously use branches as kindle, compost or recycle the tree.
5. Firework Safety
New Year’s celebrations start off with a dazzling showcase of fireworks. Homeowners who are intent on ringing in the New Year with fireworks should take ample safety precautions. Set off the fireworks from a location that is furthest away from trees and buildings.
Ensure vulnerable spectators, like children and pets, remain a safe distance from the fireworks. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand, and know how to use the PASS (pull, aim, squeeze and sweep) method. Homeowners in the midst of a drought should cancel the fireworks show to avoid a potential wildfire.
Fire Damage Restoration During the Holiday
Holiday fires are serious and can lead to extensive property damage, even long after the flames are extinguished. To prevent the spread of structural damage from a holiday home fire, consult the fastest fire damage restoration provider in the area, ServiceMaster EMT.
Whether the fire is a synthetic fire, wood and paper fire or protein fire, ServiceMaster EMT will dispense immediate fire damage cleanup measures and halt the escalation of ruin. Our trained fire and smoke damage restoration technicians follow proven steps and use advanced techniques to clean up the devastation fast.
In addition to a thorough pre-cleaning operation, ServiceMaster EMT specialists engage in content cleaning, as well as wall, ceiling, upholstery and carpet cleaning. We will rid the home of the polluted mess of soot and smoke particles. A final deodorization step ensures the home is habitable once again.
Business owners and residential homeowners in Los Angeles, the surrounding areas of southern California and Nevada are quick to turn to ServiceMaster EMT for the most trusted fire and smoke damage restoration services. Our speedy response is reliant on property owners’ prompt contact with our company.
Take swift action when fire damage occurs. Dedicated crews at ServiceMaster EMT respond to emergencies 365 days a year, and we are prepared to efficiently restore your fire and smoke damaged home or business—even when the holidays are in full swing.