With the holiday season underway, it is a time for celebration, but firefighters know that there are also many potential fire risks this time of year. From lighting a fire in the fireplace to using decorative holiday candles to highly flammable Christmas trees, the holiday season is filled with potential risks.
As such, firefighters need to ensure that their local communities are educated on the best way to enjoy the holiday festivities fully while remaining safe and preventing fires.
Candles are a popular decorative element during the holiday season, as they are crucial parts of both Chanukah and Kwanzaa traditions and frequently included in Christmas celebrations as well. You can still follow holiday traditions involving candles, but take care when doing so.
Always ensure that any lit candles are far enough away from your other decorations so that they do not start fires. You should also ensure that all candles have gone out before going to bed. Do not leave candles lit when you are asleep or not at home.
In addition to candles, many people will use some electric lights during the holiday season, whether indoors or outdoors. Firefighters know some of the essential safety tips for preventing fires with these, including using indoor-only lights only inside. Before you hang up your lights, make sure that there are no loose bulb connections or broken cords. If you notice these issues, replace the lights as they can pose a serious fire risk.
As you set up the lights, keep them away from doors and windows, as this could impede your exit paths in case of a fire. You should also be sure to not hang up the lights in a way that damages them, so avoid nails. Instead, use clips to hang them. Before you leave your house or go to sleep, turn off the light strings and other illuminated decorations.
Real Christmas trees are highly flammable, so be extra careful when choosing, placing, and decorating them to reduce the risk of fire. Start with a tree that has green needles that will not fall off when touched. Cut two inches off the base of your tree trunk before putting it on the stand and put water in the stand. Ensure you refill this water every day. Make sure your tree is placed, so it does not block an exit and is far from candles, lights, fireplaces, and other heat sources. Follow the above lighting recommendations when decorating and do not place lit candles in your tree.
Firefighters should also make suggestions regarding fire safety while entertaining since holiday parties and those on New Year’s Eve are prominent. Before having a party, ensure your smoke alarms are functional. Keep pets and kids away from any candles. Have any smokers do so outside and give them deep ashtrays for their butts. While using the stovetop to prepare your meal, always stay in the kitchen.
The holiday season is the perfect time to enjoy a fire in your fireplace, and firefighters have some crucial safety suggestions to prevent the fire from spreading. Try always to keep a window cracked open as you use the fireplace to let the smoke out.
Before you start the fire, opt for dry and well-aged wood, as this helps with an even burn and reduces smoke. Always check that the flue or damper is open before you start the fire and keep it open until your fire goes entirely out. You should also take the time to clear the ashes from older fires as more ash leads to more smoke. You should also check the chimney for blockages like animal nests before using it for the season.
With all of this holiday fire safety advice in mind, you should have a reduced chance of needing the assistance of firefighters.