02 Dec Holiday Fire Safety Tips from GENTEC
Congratulations, you’ve survived Thanksgiving, black and blue Friday and even cyber Monday. With only a few weeks until Christmas, we thought it would be a good idea to share some holiday safety tips to keep your holidays event free this year.
Christmas Tree Safety
The Christmas tree is the number one cause of holiday related fires. Dry trees are easily ignited by everything from traditional incandescent string lights to errant cigarettes. If you are going to have a live tree, make sure you pick out a healthy one. Shake the tree before you buy it. If a bunch of needles fall, it is already drying out. Only buy trees that don’t easily drop their needles.
When you place your tree n the home, keep it at least three feet away from any heating vents, radiators or fireplaces. Cut 2 inches from the bottom of the trunk and then place the tree in a stand filled with water. Check the stand at least 4 times a day and fill it as necessary. A fully hydrated tree will not burn nearly as fast as a dry one.
Overloaded sockets and frayed light strands are the second leading cause of holiday fires. A standard socket is not rated to handle more than three strands of traditional Christmas lights. Overloading one can cause an electrical fire. Older strands with broken bulbs, cracked sockets or frayed wires can also lead to electrical fires.
If you are hanging lights outdoors, consider installing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to prevent water shorting out your system.
Also, never use actual candles to decorate your tree. This was a long standing tradition that has been replaced with electric bulbs, but some families still do it. If you do use candles, keep a fire extinguisher handy and always blow them out when no one will be in the room with them.
Safety in the Kitchen
Kitchen fires are quite common during the holidays. They are usually caused by people trying to do too many things at one time and not focusing on the task at hand. Here are a few things you can do to prevent kitchen accidents that result in fire.
Turn all of your pot handles toward the interior of the stove. This will prevent people from bumping them and sending their contents spilling over the heating element or flame.
Put out snack trays when you are cooking. This will keep people out of the kitchen while you are working.
If the contents of a pan catch fire, immediately cover the pan with a lid. This will stop the oxygen flow to the fire and it will go out.
Keep a package of baking soda on hand. Use this to put out small grease fires. Water will just spread the fire because the grease floats on it.
Check in later this month for a few tips on how to accommodate extra family members over the holidays without straining your utility bill. All of us here at GENTEC wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.