Holiday Fire Safety

Staying Flame-free this Holiday Season

Christmas_Tree_at_the_Westin_Tokyo

Around this time of year, our homes are adorned with way more fire hazards than usual. Lights, plants, and holiday cheer are festive and fun, but make sure to take the necessary precautions to stay safe this winter!

Rules for Holiday Decorating:

An article from USAToday explains that “fire departments responded to an average of 230 home fires caused by Christmas trees each year from 2007-2011. The result was a yearly average of six deaths, 22 injuries and $18.3 million in property damage

Here is a list of holiday fire safety tips from NFPA and FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration:

1) When choosing a tree, look for one that is fresh and has green needles that don’t fall out. Brownish needles mean the tree is dried out and more prone to catch fire.

2) Water your tree daily to prevent it from drying out.

3) Check the manufacturer’s labels to ensure you use only lights and decorations that are flame-retardant. Look for a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories, Intertek or the Canadian Standards Association, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

4) Check holiday lights for frayed wires or excessive wear.

5) Don’t connect more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.

6) Keep your tree at least 3 feet away from any heat source, such as a fireplace, radiator, candles or lights.

7) Make sure your tree is not blocking an exit. In case there is a fire, you want a way to get out.

8) Always turn off lights on a tree before going to bed or leaving your home.

9) Get rid of a tree when its needles start dropping. It means the tree is drying out.

10) Check that your smoke alarm is working properly.”

 

Here are some more tips for year-round fire safety:

1) Own a fire extinguisher, assure that it is in working condition, know how to use it, and keep it somewhere handy.

2) Consider coating your furniture with a fireproof spray chemical. They are easy to apply and also make furniture and fabrics more stain-resistant.

3) Make sure your furnace is working properly, and keep an eye on your appliances. Old filters or lint can easily cause a fire in a mechanical or laundry room.
Please read more from the following articles (sourced in this entry):
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2013/12/11/christmas-tree-fire-prevention/3987147/

http://www.redbeacon.com/hg/10-ways-fireproof-your-home/#ixzz3JjdlVUFo

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/holidays/christmas-tree-fires/christmas-tree-safety-tips

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