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4 Fire Safety Tips For The Holidays

The holiday season isn’t over just yet. You can still see an abundance of lights and there are plenty of leftovers in the refrigerator. While the season is full of joy and wonder, it can also be one of the most costly and deadly times of the year. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), more than twice the number of open flame fires happen on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. If that wasn’t bad enough, those fires often do much more damage than an average house fire too.

So to keep your holidays safe and jolly this season, here are a few fire safety tips to keep in mind.

1. Cooking

According to the USFA, cooking is the top cause of holiday fires. The most common reason being food that is left unattended. During the holiday season, it is way too easy to get distracted.

Try to take a pot holder with you whenever you leave the kitchen to remind yourself that something is on the stove. Additionally, you will want to make sure your smoke detectors are properly working and that you have a fire extinguisher handy.

2. Candles

The chances of a candle fire are four times higher in December than during other months. The National Fire Protection Association has stated that four out of five most dangerous days of the year for residential candle fires are Christmas/Christmas Eve and New Year’s/New Year’s Eve.

In order to reduce the danger of a fire, maintain around a foot of space between the candle and anything that could easily be burned. If you ever leave a room with a candle in it, blow it out first. A flame should never be unattended. You will also want to make sure that anything you set a candle on is study and won’t be easily knocked over.

3. Decorative Lights

Before you decorate the tree, check the light strings and toss out any with frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. When you do start to decorate, you need to make sure not to run more than three lights end to end. Stacking plugs is a lot safer than stacking lights is. You will want to check the extension cords to ensure they are in good condition.

If you are hanging lights outside, you should avoid using any nails or staples as it damages the wiring and increases the risk of a fire. Instead, you should try to use UL-rated clips or hangers. Additionally, you shouldn’t hesitate to take the lights down after the holidays either. The longer you leave them up, the more likely it will be damaged by the weather or get chewed on by squirrels.

4. Playing With Matches

Unfortunately, the number of fires and deaths are caused by children playing with fire. This number goes up significantly during the holiday season. Make sure to keep matches and lighters far from the kids’ reach. It can be hard to keep track of children when you are catching up with the rest of the family. That is why it is best to keep dangerous items out of their reach rather than to trust that someone will catch them in time.