The holiday season is filled with excitement and celebration. People host family and friends for get-togethers filled with food and festivities. Sights of lights and other festive decorations fill homes inside and outside. But with all of the events and people coming in and out of your home, the holiday season can also be busy and hectic, making it easy to become distracted.
It is important to be safe when cooking or decorating for the holidays because of the various fire risks that are present during this celebratory season. If you neglect to prioritize holiday fire safety when doing such activities, then you not only put yourself and your home at risk, but you also put your family, friends, and any other visitors there for the holidays in danger, too.
Use the following fire safety tips as a guide to reduce the risk of fires while preparing for and celebrating the holiday season.
General Safety Precautions
- Keep a watchful eye on whatever you’re cooking, because unattended cooking can easily lead to a fire. In fact, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), unattended cooking is the top source of kitchen fires.
- Keep kids and pets away from the stove and oven area in your kitchen. They can cause accidents or be harmed in any accidents that occur.
- Keep flammable items away from your oven, stove, and any other heat sources in your kitchen.
- Always use oven mitts and potholders.
- Any grease spills should be cleaned promptly to eliminate the fire hazard.
- Choose your attire wisely. You don’t want to wear anything that is loose or has dangling embellishments that can easily catch on fire.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand in your kitchen in case a fire does break out. The best one to get would be a kitchen fire extinguisher that works for any type of fire. That way, you’ll be able to extinguish the fire no matter its source.
- Use all cooking equipment properly and follow manufacturer’s instructions. When plugging in cooking equipment, don’t use extension cords. You should always plug cooking appliances and equipment directly into an electrical outlet.
- When cooking on a stovetop, turn all pan and pot handles inwards so that they don’t stick out. By doing this, you won’t hit them and cause spills or harm to anyone.
- If your family gets a real Christmas tree for your home, then buy a tree that is fresh, has its needles intact, and gets a fresh cut on its trunk. You will also need to water it daily because the tree will naturally dry out and the needles and wood will have an easier time catching on fire. Make sure to place the tree in a location that is not near a heat source, such as a fireplace. Once the holidays are over, the tree should be taken down.
- Any decorations near or on the fireplace need to be at least three feet from flames, including stockings, gift wrap, and other decor hanging on the fireplace. A fire screen will keep fire embers and logs from leaving the fireplace.
- If you use string lights as Christmas decorations for your tree, around your home, or outside, don’t plug more than three sets of them into each other. Instead use a power strip that is UL-rated. Don’t use any lights that are broken or worn out, or that have cracked or frayed wiring or broken sockets either.
- If hanging Christmas lights outside of your home, use UL-rated clips or hangers. Staples and nails should be avoided for hanging lights because these items can harm the lights’ wiring, thus increasing the chance of a fire.
- Turn all decorative lights off when you leave your home or go to sleep.
Hanukkah and Kwanzaa
- If you’re using a traditional menorah or kinara that uses real candles instead of electric candles, keep any items away from the candle holder to prevent them from catching on fire. At the least, there should be a one-foot radius between candles and flammable objects.
- Make sure your menorah or kinara is placed on a non-flammable surface. This will allow any melted candle wax to drip onto the surface without causing damage.
- Don’t leave your menorah or kinara unattended when it is lit.
What to Do After a Fire
If your home is damaged by a fire during your holiday celebrations, it is essential that you act immediately to get help both from your local fire department and a restoration company.
At Target Restoration, we are ready to respond to fires during the holiday season with our professional fire damage restoration services. Our technicians and Master Fire Restorers will clean, repair, and restore your property in an effective and efficient manner so that you can return to your home quickly after the fire.