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8 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Fires this Winter

Christmas disaster

The winter holiday season is a time for family and togetherness. Unfortunately, many family holiday traditions increase the risk of house fires. Protect your family and property by following these eight holiday fire safety tips.

  1. Check your holiday lights for frayed cords or broken plugs. Don’t use any that appear damaged. Also, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for how many strands you can join together. Only use outdoor-rated lights when decorating the exterior, and turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed.
  2. Practice candle safety. Never leave candles burning unattended, monitor children and pets closely while a candle is lit, and blow out all candles before going to bed. For your peace of mind, consider using battery-operated candles for a realistic flicker and ambiance without the fire risk.
  3. Maintain your live Christmas tree by keeping it well-watered and checking it daily for signs of dehydration. Brown or fallen needles indicate a dangerously dried-out tree. Also, position the tree at least three feet from radiators, fireplaces, space heaters, or other heat sources. More than one-quarter of all Christmas tree fires occur in January, so once the holiday is over, dispose of your tree promptly.
  4. Use extension cords wisely. This includes never running electrical wires under carpets or rugs, which could cause overheating. Make sure your extension cords are in good condition before plugging them in, and only use heavy-duty, outdoor-rated versions for exterior lighting.
  5. Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned once a year to prevent a flammable creosote buildup, which can cause a flash fire in the chimney. A fireplace inspection also reveals masonry cracks, damaged spark arresters, and other problems you should address before using your fireplace this season.
  6. Run space heaters wisely. Keep them away from bedding, curtains, furniture, and other flammable objects. Avoid running space heaters while you sleep, and don’t operate them anywhere a child or pet could knock them over. Follow all other operating instructions from the manufacturer.
  7. Keep matches and lighters out of reach. The best place for these tools is in a high, locked kitchen cabinet. Don’t allow children under 12 to handle matches or lighters. Closely monitor older children if you ask them to light a candle.
  8. Prepare holiday meals safely to avoid a kitchen fire. Keep flammable objects away from the oven and stovetop. Never leave toasting, grilling, or broiling food unattended. Set a timer to remind yourself when the food is done. Keep little kids out of the kitchen.

If you fall victim to a house fire this holiday season, let DKI assist with your recovery. Our fire restoration services include smoke and stain removal, deodorization, structural repair, personal property restoration, and water damage remediation. We are a certified restoration company, and our cutting-edge processes and equipment are proven to restore your home to its pre-fire condition. Call 844-354-2255 or contact us online to request comprehensive fire damage restoration and cleanup.