Holiday Decorations Safety
While watching television the other day I saw a commercial for a famous candle company. The hook in the ad was “This what the holidays smell like.” It immediately reminded me of the countless fires we have responded to over the years during the holiday season. So many were started by candle accidents and very quickly the smell of the holidays changed from Cinnamon Apple Pie to charred wood and melted plastic.
According to the National Fire Protection Association there are over 400 fires annually in the U.S. that are traced back to holiday decorations including festive candles. About 55% of all holiday related fires are started by candles in the month of December. Christmas tree fires are another large cause for holiday fires. Christmas tree fires are over four time deadlier than an average fire according to the NFPA.
From candle safety, decorative lights and Christmas trees, our partners at the American Red Cross have some good tips for all kinds of holiday hazards.
- Never use candles near trees, curtains or drapes or any other flammable items.
- When displaying a tree, cut off about two inches off the trunk and put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand. Keep the stand filled with water so the tree does not dry out quickly.
- Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.
- If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
- Only use indoor lights indoors (and outdoor lights only outdoors). Look for the UL label. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light sets.
- Use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards, but do not run cords under rugs, around furniture legs or across doorways.
- Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Unplug extension cords when not in use.
All of us at the SERVPRO of Carthage & Joplin hope you all have a great and SAFE holiday season.