For a Thanksgiving Day and Holiday Season Free from Fire Damage
Thanksgiving Day and the Holiday Season are times for celebration, reflection, and spending time with those you love. Unfortunately, accidents can happen. Ensure your loved ones’ protection by implementing a fire safety plan at the holidays, and keep in mind the following recommendations to avoid major disasters.
In Case of a House Fire
Many fires that can lead to fire damage inside a home are triggered by candles that drip hot wax or candle residue onto flammable coverings. Other sources of indoor fires can be caused by candles that are near other combustible materials such as:
- Oils or potpourri
- Decorative tissue paper
- Wooden toys or holiday decorations
- If you buy an artificial tree, make sure that it is fire resistant – not all trees are.
- Natural trees require regular watering, your tree should never feel dry to the touch, this then becomes a major fire hazard.
- If you have LED lights, a dry tree can go up in flames quickly. Make sure to keep your tree adequately watered. Do not take the risk.
Smoke Detectors During a House Fire
Smoke detectors save lives by providing an early warning of a smoke or fire incident, but can do nothing to extinguish a growing fire. They also do little to protect those physically unable to escape on their own, such as the elderly or small children.
Increasingly, battery operated smoke detectors fail to function because the batteries are dead or have been removed. Although the percent of homes in America that were “protected” with smoke detectors increased from zero to more than 70%, the number of fire deaths in homes did not significantly decrease. A home needs more than just a set of functioning smoke detectors.
Keep an Eye on Children
Families need an escape plan, fire extinguishers, and in certain circumstances, even a sprinkler system to stay safe from and aware of any fire situations.
If you're hosting a holiday party, then your children and your guests’ children may tag along as well. Kids love to imitate adults, and they're quite curious; as a result, alcohol poisoning in children is common during the holiday season.
Adults are likely to leave half-empty drink glasses lying around, and kids are there for the taking. Be sure to either warn guests to leave their kids at home with a babysitter because it’s an adult-only party, or strongly enforce after-drinking cleanup.
Provide guests a special place to store their bags and luggage too, which regularly contain pills and other medications. Children are adventurers and love to rummage through what’s new at home. Keep in mind the safety of yourself and of those around you. That is something that certainly everyone will be grateful for.
Fire Safety Plan at Home
Here’s a final list of Safety and Prevention Tips to keep handy:
- Check and maintain your smoke detectors:Replace batteries at least once a year around Daylight Savings Time.
- Establish a fire evacuation plan: Practice your fire escape plan with all your family members.
- In the event of house fire:don’t waste a second, leave your house and call the fire department.
- In the event of an apartment fire:never use an elevator and always feel your door before exiting; if it is hot do not open it.
- Be careful with electricity:Keep an eye out for devices that are dangerous or in poor condition like flickering lamps, bare wires, open circuit breakers, etc.
- Give space heaters space: Leave at least one meter (three feet) between combustible materials and space heaters.
When Using Lights and Decorations
The Electrical Safety Foundation International recommends connecting no more than three strings of incandescent lights together. If you're using LEDs, most UL labeled lights will tell you on the package how many strings of lights you can safely string together.
Use a GFCI Outlet
Only plug your lights into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. These outlets will shut the circuit down if there is too much current flowing through, preventing fires. If your outlet is a GFCI, it will have a reset and test button in the center. If you don't have one, you can purchase a portable GFCI outlet from your home improvement store like this Waterproof In-line GFCI or this Portable GFCI.
Elevate Outdoor Lighting
Keep your light strands off the ground, too. If you want to make a cool runway effect down your walkway, use light stakes. You just stick them in the ground and the lights clip to the top of the stake. Make sure to keep them dry, don't let your cords sit on the ground, be aware that the junction where your light cord and your extension cord meet needs to stay out of damp soil, puddles, water, etc.
You can buy an inexpensive cord protector like the Twist and Seal Heavy Duty Cord Protector or the Extension Cord Safety Seal-- to keep your cords dry, or plan your light display so that connections are in the air instead of on the ground.
Try to use an extension cord that is rated for outdoor use. Indoor-use extension cords aren't meant to be used in the cold or wet. Check to make sure your lights are labeled also as waterproof and follow the American National Standards Institute.
Prevent Tripping Hazards
Use anchoring pins or ground staples to secure extension cords to the ground on either side of a walkway to prevent tripping hazards. Simply thread the cord through the middle and push the ends of the pin or staple into the dirt. If you have some wire hangers, a pair of pliers and wire cutters laying around, you can make your own staples in a pinch. Just cut 8 inches (20.32 centimeters) of wire and bend it into a U-shape.
While holiday decorating is all about adding fun, sparkle and warmth to a very special season, it’s important to remember that many of our favorite decorations carry the risk of fire or electrical injury if not used carefully. Don’t let a preventable accident take the enjoyment out of your holidays
Contacting SERVPRO is the first step you should take when addressing disaster strikes. We will help you to minimize your particular issue whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response, and we will help you safely and efficiently get your residential or commercial property back in working order.
SERVPRO of St. Lucie County 772-934-6957 - SERVPRO of Martin County (772) 334-8762
Our best wishes to you and your loved ones during the holidays!