The holidays are a wonderful time of year, and Christmas is just right around the corner. However, while this may be a time for celebration, it is also a time for unexpected dangerous such as household fires. A blaze can come from the lights on your Christmas tree or from deep-frying the turkey for Christmas dinner.
To help minimize the chance of your holiday festivities blowing up in smoke, here are a few holiday-related fire hazards and how you can prevent them.
1. Christmas Trees
From 2011 to 2015, there were approximately 200 home structure fires each year as a result of Christmas trees. These fires resulted in injuries, deaths, and $14.8 million in property damage. In 26 percent of Christmas tree-related fires, a heat source was too close to the tree.
One of the main reasons that live Christmas trees catch on fire is because homeowners let them dry out. To prevent a live Christmas tree from catching on fire, one of the best things you can do is water it regularly.
In addition, since heat sources — burning candles, fireplaces, space heaters, etc. — are often too close to the trees and cause the fires in the first place, make sure that the tree is nowhere near an open flame or any heat source.
Also, consider using LED lights. These lights not only use less electricity, but they are safer because they generate less heat. Regardless of the type of lights you use, check them for damage before using them so that damaged strands can be replaced.
2. Deep Fryers
While some people prefer a baked turkey in the oven, others enjoy a deep fried turkey. If you are one of the latter individuals, educate yourself with how to use a deep fryer before you try this method. Each year, deep fryer fires result in numerous injuries, deaths, and over $15 million in property damage.
The deep fryer should be placed a safe distance away from any structure as well as other individuals to ensure that no one will accidentally run into it or knock it over. It should also be placed on the grass, away from vehicles. Oil levels should be carefully and properly measured. A fire extinguisher should be kept nearby, and the fryer should never be left unattended.
Before placing the turkey in the fryer, make sure that it is thawed out. Otherwise, the hot oil will splatter and can burn anyone that is standing near the fryer; the fryer could also knock over, causing a fire to start.
3. Overloaded Outlets and Overheated Extension Cords
During the holidays, many people may overload their outlets. Unfortunately, this situation can easily lead to an unnecessarily electrical fire.
If you must plug several items into a single outlet, use a surge strip. Should the surge strip get too hot from too much electrical current, it should automatically shut itself off.
Overheated extension cords can also start a home fire. It isn’t uncommon for an extension cord to be used for the Christmas tree lights so that the tree can be placed in the most convenient location.
More often than not, a surge protector is not used with the extension cord. Then, the tree skirt is placed on top of the extension cord, along with presents and other items. Eventually, the cord could heat up and lead to a fire. Avoid this situation by leaving your extension cords uncovered.
Hopefully, you have taken the proper measures to protect your home from a house fire from occurring. However, in the event that a house fire does occur, all homeowners should have homeowners insurance.
If you do not have insurance on your home or you would like to make certain that you have the proper coverage, contact Metropolitan Insurance Service Consultants, Inc today.