The holiday season is a great time to enjoy seeing friends and family and, of course, enjoy eating the foods you love. Unfortunately, it's also a time when house fires ruin the holiday plans of many families. The reason we typically see more house fires during the holiday season is because of the existence of more fire-related risks. Here are a few of the most common causes of holiday fires and what you can do to keep your home and family safe.
?Cooking is considered the top cause of holiday fires and it makes sense. Many of us are cooking much more around holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas than we would the rest of the year. We're also attempting to cook multiple dishes at the same time. In some cases, those of us with little to no cooking experience are attempting to cook something. All of this leads to unsafe cooking practices like leaving food unattended, or leaving flammable items close to the stove. The best way to keep a fire from starting in your kitchen is to simply be mindful. Stay in the kitchen while you're cooking and always look around for flammable items before you turn on the oven or burners. Additionally, be sure you have a charged fire extinguisher available just in case.
?Whether they are used to brighten up your dinner table, or used to bring nice scents to your living room, candles seem to be used much more during the holidays. Of course, any time there's an open flame in your home, there's a chance that it starts a fire. Again, some preliminary work before lighitng your candles goes a long way. Check to see if there's plenty of space, at least a foot, between the candle and anything flammable, like curtains, magazines or furniture. You should consider the worst case scenarios, so plan for the candle to be knocked over, or curtains to blow into it. Before leaving your home or going to bed, be sure to walk through each room and ensure that all candles are out.
?When it's cold out, space heaters come out of storage. During the holidays, you may put them in guest's rooms to keep them comfortable, but unattended space heaters and a big fire hazard. Like candles, it's important to keep them away from flammable items and it's important to make sure all heaters are off before leaving them unattended. It's also important to clean and inspect them before using them. For example, if your space heater has been in storage since last winter, plug it in and closely monitor it before putting it to use in your home. In most cases, if there's something wrong with your space heater, it's better to get a new one rather than trying to repair it yourself.
?Wherever your family holds its holiday get-togethers, there's likely more children in the home than usual. That means there's a higher chance of things being knocked over, and other activity that could lead to a fire starting. It's important to educate children about the fire dangers present so they know to be careful in rooms with candles, or near the fireplace. Be sure to keep matches and lighters out of reach also. Even with proper education, it's important to monitor and supervise kids, especially when they're in the kitchen or around open flames.
Proper fire safety practices and fire extinguishers are important to keeping your home safe. So too are smoke detectors. Be sure your smoke detectors and in working order and have a charged battery in them before you start your holiday festivities.
At Holder's Security, we offer integration of smoke detectors into your home security system. This way ,your smoke detectors never run out of batteries and the whole home, and the monitoring station, is alerted at the first signs of fire. Come see us to learn more.