The holiday season is a magical, festive time, especially with every home donning glistening décor and colorful lights. However, while you and your loved ones may be excited about the upcoming celebrations and gatherings, it helps to remember that this is also when the risk of fires and the demand for fire damage restoration services usually peaks.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve are among the leading days of the year for home fires in the U.S. Moreover, factors like faulty decoration or an unattended candle can turn a merry get-together into an overwhelming incident in seconds.
This season is best spent laughing, celebrating, and making new memories with your loved ones. Familiarizing yourself with these holiday safety tips can help you prevent a fire and, most importantly, keep your celebration a joyful occasion.
Buy a Fresh Christmas Tree
When it comes to holiday fire safety tips, one of the most important things to remember is that a dry tree is highly likely to catch fire. As such, it’s crucial that you get the freshest Christmas tree you can find. Its needles should be green, vibrant, and secure. On the other hand, trees that are not fresh often look visibly dull and have needles falling off.
Watering your Christmas tree also helps improve its resistance to fire. Keep an eye on the water level to ensure you’ll be able to refill it once the tree absorbs it.
With that said, it’s also a good idea to switch to artificial Christmas trees. Besides the fact that they do not dry out, most artificial Christmas trees are made with fire-resistant materials and have better safety features.
Check Your Holiday Lights for Any Damage
Statistics show that decorations that caught fire caused around $13 million in direct property damage every year from 2015 to 2019. Fortunately, protecting yourself from overwhelming losses starts with the manageable task of inspecting your holiday lights for any damage – whether it’s loose connections, frayed wires, broken bulbs, or cracked sockets.
Once you’re sure your lights are in good working order, remember to fasten your outdoor lights securely using roof clips or insulated staples. Doing so can help keep the wind from whipping them and eventually damaging the lights.
Another practical way to stay safe during the holidays is to consider using LED lights. They burn cooler and use less energy at the same time, letting you save money and even improving the safety of your home.
Use Extension Cords Carefully
Not all extension cords can be used outside. As such, it’s crucial to read labels all the time to ensure you’re using the appropriate cord to light up your outdoor decorations.
In addition, remember to only plug up to three sets of lights into a single extension cord. If you have multiple indoor lights, plugging them into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) improves your fire safety and helps you avoid the need for fire damage restoration services.
Practice Safe Cooking Habits
Preparing for family dinners can get busy, but it’s best not to do all the cooking at once and on your own. Handling several cooking tasks at once can make it difficult to keep track of things, increasing the risk of a fire.
With that said, getting more helpers may not always be helpful, especially if it results in a crowded kitchen. Having too many people moving around in one area often entails more chances for incidents to occur.
Ultimately, no matter the time of the year, leaving the kitchen unattended when frying, grilling, or broiling food is never a good idea. To stay safe, ensure at least one person can watch over the stove, oven, or other appliance. With someone monitoring the cooking, it becomes easier to prevent cooking accidents and grease fires.
Keep Your Fireplace Covered
Fireplaces are perfect for not only housing a toasty fire but also creating that warm and comfortable holiday atmosphere. However, to ensure your fireplace won’t be a source of anything other than comfort, ensure it is always covered. Fireplace screens or covers allow you to keep your home warm without letting embers pop onto your carpet or other flammable materials or harm anyone nearby.
Get the Damage Repaired Right Away With the Help of the Experts
Holidays are a time for reuniting with families and friends, unwinding in the company of your loved ones, and enjoying hearty meals. But in the midst of feasts, gifts, and catch-ups, keeping the holiday fire safety tips shared above in mind can help you enjoy your celebrations stress-free.
With that said, accidents can still happen, and fires can break out anytime. If you have been affected by a property fire this holiday season, know that Restoration 1 of Austin is always here to help you get things back to normal. Our IICRC-certified fire damage restoration professionals stand ready to address your fire or smoke damage and, most importantly, return your home to its pre-fire condition.
Contact Restoration 1 of Austin at 512-562-0411 for expert help. With us as your trusted team, you can rest assured that your property and possessions will receive the most caring services.