The risk of a home fire increases substantially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. Approximately 156,000 home fires occur across the U.S. during this time. The fires account for 2,600 injuries, 960 fatalities, and $936 million in property damage. Decking the halls requires safe decorating and cooking practices.
Deep frying a turkey is a major source of fires and injuries. Don’t overfill the deep fryer and never submerge a frozen turkey in oil. Keep children and pets away from the fryer. It remains a danger until it’s completely cooled down. Watch the fire carefully as oil can burst into flames
Keeping live trees hydrated is critical. Dried out trees are a major source of fires. For artificial trees, seek one that says it’s fire resistant.
If you’re hanging stockings, don’t light the fireplace. The same is true if you have garlands on the fireplace or a tree nearby.
Dispose of any lights or décor with frayed wires or bulbs that aren’t lit. Don’t string more than 3 strands of lights together and minimize the use of extension cords. Turn off lights when you go to bed or are out of the house. Never place lights designed for indoor use outside.
Older homes without updated wiring may not be able to handle the additional electrical load required. It can result in tripped breakers and outlets that overheat and cause a fire.
Hooks and Hangers
Always use hooks and hangers for holiday decorations. Never use staples as you can pierce the protective coating.
Wax candles are a potential fire waiting to happen. Battery-operated and rechargeable lights are a much safer option. Never leave a burning candle unattended in a room. That’s also true of scented candles. Wax candles should always be placed on a solid base, away from flammable items, and out of reach of children.
Smoke and Fire
Now is the perfect time to change the batteries in smoke and fire alarms. If you haven’t created and practiced an evacuation plan in the event of a fire, now is an ideal time to do so.
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