Essential Home Safety Tips for the Holiday Season: Fire Safety
The smell of freshly baked cookies and the sight of twinkling lights throughout your neighborhood can only mean one thing – the holiday season is here. Decorating your home, opening stockings by the fire, lighting the menorah, or toasting to the New Year with friends and family are festivities many people look forward to every year.
While there is plenty of fun to be had during the holiday season, there’s also an increased chance for something to go wrong if you’re not cautious or well prepared. From home fires and snow damage to theft and home burglaries, there are plenty of problems that can arise. Keep these home safety tips in mind this winter so you can be as safe as possible for the festivities to come.
Emily Huddleston from Redfin has some safety tips to remember this holiday and winter season.
The risk of home fires is highest during the holiday season, so installing smoke detectors becomes even more critical during this time of year. If you already have these installed, be sure to test them and replace the batteries if needed. Now may also be a good time to upgrade to a smart smoke detector that sends alerts directly to your phone.
- Always put out candles if you intend on being out of the room for an extended period of time.
- Keep decorative candles and/or menorahs at least 3 feet away from flammable objects and out of reach from kids and pets.
- Never put real candles on Christmas trees.
- Ensure candles are placed in a sturdy holder and on flat surfaces.
- Have a professional chimney sweep and furnace inspection annually.
- Avoid hanging stockings, garlands, or other dangling holiday decorations near heating sources like fireplaces or space heaters while they’re in use.
- Don’t toss wrapping paper into the indoor fireplace.
- Ensure your home has a properly functioning carbon monoxide detector near every sleeping area.
- Always watch what you are cooking. Unattended cooking is the most common cause of fires in the kitchen.
- Have a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen.
- If you decide to get a live tree, be sure it’s watered sufficiently and frequently. If you opt for an artificial tree, ensure that it’s flame retardant.
- Place trees as far away from heat sources, such as fireplaces or space heaters, as possible.
- Once the holiday season has ended, or your live tree becomes too dry or dead, dispose of it right away as it can quickly become highly flammable.
- Only light fireworks away from your home and buildings, as well as bushes, trees, or other vegetation.
- Don’t relight fireworks that fail to explode.
- Follow all local laws and regulations.