Preventing Fire Damage Over the Holidays

ldr-lightsThe holidays are a time to appreciate friends, family, and festivities, but those beautiful Halloween, Christmas and Thanksgiving decorations can present a serious hazard. From outdated electrical decorations to overloaded outlets, here is a list of winter fire hazards to avoid in order to keep your home safe and your holidays carefree.

Monitor Candles

Candles are one of the leading causes of home fires throughout the year, especially during the winter months. From festive tealights to scented pillar candles, use extra care when it comes to lighting these items. Reduce the risk of a fire by keeping candles far away from flammable materials. Candle flames can flare up without warning, catching on nearby drapes and linens. Never leave a candle unattended, especially at night. LED candles present a safer alternative to traditional candles for high-traffic areas of the home.

Maintain Smoke Detectors

Keeping your smoke detectors in good condition is an important component of winter fire safety. Perform regular tests and never take the batteries out of a smoke detector that is beeping to alert you of a low battery level.

Select the Right Tree

Dry trees can become a ball of flames in as little as 30 seconds. To reduce the risk of fire, select a tree with fresh needles that are a vivid shade of green. Dry trees are far more flammable, so watering your Christmas tree daily is an effective way to prevent fire. Also keep your tree away from heating vents and fireplaces.

Check Lighted Decorations for Damage

Tangled strings of Christmas lights and electric Halloween decorations can become damaged or worn over the years. When unpacking your holiday decorations from that box in the attic, take a moment to inspect the wires for signs of damage. Pests in your attic can also chew through the insulation on cords, resulting in a serious electrical hazard.

Avoid Overloaded Outlets

The US Department of Energy reports that overloaded outlets are the leading cause of house fires during the holiday season. While it is tempting to load power strips and outlets with all of your lighted holiday decorations, you should limit it to one extension cord per outlet. Never link extension cords together as this is a good way to overload your outlet and cause an electrical fire.

Throw Out Old Decorations

Each year when you take down your holiday lights, it is a good idea to inspect them for damage. From power cords chewed by pets to light strings with shorts in them, old decorations can easily lead to fire damage. Invest in one or two new items each year and get rid of decorations that are worn or damaged to keep costs low. With these simple yet effective tips in mind, you can prevent fires while enjoying your holiday festivities and decorations. If damage does occur, call Leaders in Disaster Restoration for expert restoration services. LDR offers services such as fire damage restoration and household mold remediation Janesville and Rockford residents can trust.
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