4 Tips for Home Fire Safety This Holiday
The holiday season brings about so much joy and celebration, from hanging Christmas lights outdoors to lighting the fireplace on Christmas Eve. The drop in temperature and the joyous celebrations also bring about a great time to learn all about the importance of fire safety. Over 30% of house fires occur from December to February and 38% of fire-related deaths occur during this period as well. Here are 4 tips to keep in mind this holiday season on the subject of fire safety and prevention:
Equip Your Home With The Right Tools
In order to make sure your home is as safe as possible, it is important to make sure that your home is equipped with smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher. According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke detectors (40%) or no smoke detectors that were working (17%). Smoke detectors are able to provide an early warning in the case of a fire, and are proven to be an essential safety element to any home. A fire extinguisher can also lend a helping hand in the case of a fire, but is only helpful if the intended user knows how to successfully use one. If you are one of the many who is not entirely sure how to operate a fire extinguisher, then be sure to utilize online resources, such as YouTube videos, that easily demonstrate how to correctly use one.
Turn Off and Unplug
It can be nerve-racking when you’re on your way to work and can’t remember if you unplugged your iron. Or perhaps you’re in bed and you can’t remember if you turned off your Christmas tree lights. For the sake of your family and your home, ensuring that potential fire hazards are turned off (and more importantly, unplugged) can make a huge difference. Although most modern irons have an auto shut-off switch, anything can happen. In most, if not all cases, your boss, family, or friends will understand if you’re a few minutes late because you turned back around to make sure that your iron, or any other appliance, is turned off. In the case of Christmas lights (both outside and on your Christmas tree), they should never be left on all night — no matter how beautiful they look.
Prep Your Chimney
Fireplaces and chimneys are involved in 42% of all home-heat fires, so there should definitely be some precautions to take when using them this holiday season. If you don’t have the time to properly clean out your chimney, then perhaps consider hiring a reliable chimney sweep. A chimney cap is another great tool because it has wire-mesh sides that keep out rain, animals, and debris. When using the fireplace indoors, it is in your best interest to use a spark guard because it completely surrounds the fireplace to keep the fire and sparks inside.
Put a Family Emergency Plan in Place
When a fire breaks out, chaos can ensue. Because there isn’t much time to think during all of the pandemonium, it is vital that your family knows exactly where to go and what to do in the case of a house fire. Practicing fire safety in advance with your family is easy and can ultimately save lives. Important topics to cover can range from exit plans to the simple stop, drop, and roll technique. During this time, it is also critical to include your pets in your family emergency plan and make sure your pet’s contact information is reflected on their ID collar and in the microchip database.