There are more frequent residential fires during holiday seasons, and they are more costly and more deadly. According to the U.S fire administration (USFA), there are more than double the number of open flame fires on Christmas day than on any average day.
Uptown Properties would like to remind everyone to stay safe this coming holiday season with some tips to make your holidays fire safe and merrier!
It's the holiday seasons, of course you would be cooking! However, according to USFA, cooking is the top cause of holiday fires. Specifically food that's left unattended. While tending to your guests or while enjoying your holiday party it's easy to get distracted when cooking. Make sure you keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen at all times ready to be used for fire emergencies. Also ensure that the smoke detectors are working before doing any cooking. If you’re planning to deep-fry your holiday turkey, do it outside, on a flat, level surface at least 10 feet from the house.
Candle related holiday fire is more than four times higher during December than during other months according to the National Fire Protection Association. To avoid fires, maintain about a foot of space between the candle and anything that can burn. Also make sure to set candles on sturdy bases or cover with hurricane globes. Never leave flames unattended as well. And when you're about to go to bed, make sure all candles are blown out. Or to avoid all of these, consider flameless LED candles.
Did you know that it takes less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to completely engulf a room in flames, according to the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Standards and Technology. To avoid these from happening, buy a fresh tree with intact needles with a fresh cut on the trunk, and always water it daily. Why do this you might ask? Because a well-watered tree is almost impossible to ignite. Make sure to keep the tree from any heat source as well, at least three feet is a safe distance.
Check light strings, those with broken sockets, frayed or cracked wires should be disposed right away. Don't overload your sockets. Also check outdoor receptacles to make sure the ground fault interrupters don’t trip. If they trip repeatedly, that’s a sign that they need to be replaced. Additionally, avoid using nails or staples when hanging lights outside to avoid damaging the wires , instead use UL-rated clips or hangers. After 90 Days, remind yourself to take the lights down says John Drengenberg, director of consumer safety for Underwriters Laboratories. “If you leave them up all year round, squirrels chew on them and they get damaged by weather.”
Screen the fireplace to prevent embers from popping out onto the floor or carpet, and never use flammable liquids to start a fire in the fireplace. Only burn seasoned wood — no wrapping paper. Soot can harden on chimney walls as flammable creosote, so before the fireplace season begins, have your chimney inspected to see if it needs cleaning (Uptown Properties has a great network of specialists for this). And lastly, when cleaning out the fireplace, put embers in a metal container and set them outside to cool for 24 hours before disposal.