The recent wildfires in California have occupied everyone’s thoughts nationwide, and it is safe to say that we are all heartbroken to hear about the widespread destruction caused by the blazes. While the Camp Fire is finally contained, its effects will linger in the lives of many homeowners who lost it all.
While this was a natural disaster, the holiday season comes with an increased risk for home fires. It is a time of joy and togetherness, and it’s easy to be distracted by all of the merriment around us as we gather with friends and family. It has never been more important to be aware of how fires can begin in an instant; here are ways to prevent a home fire ahead of the winter holidays.
Cooking is always one of the leading causes of home fires, but during the holiday season, it is number one. The saddest part? These fires can almost always be prevented with better awareness on the chef’s part. Whenever you are cooking, never leave anything on the stove unattended. 63% of home fires begin on the stovetop, and it is incredibly important to make sure that you never leave a towel, oven mitt, or anything else that could catch fire near a burner. Keep in mind that frying is the most high-risk style of cooking, and using oil can be dangerous if it splatters significantly. Keep the temperatures lower, and have a lid to partially cover the pan when cooking. When using the oven, it is important to always set a timer. Keep an extinguisher in or near your kitchen, and always ensure that your smoke detectors are in working order throughout your property.
Nothing completes a home like a live Christmas tree, but far too many people do not know the upkeep required to safely sustain it throughout the holiday season. Live trees, once cut, immediately start to dry out until you get them properly watered – they need to be watered every day. A hydrated Christmas tree is the best kind, as a dry tree that catches fire from a faulty light or other source can become “explosive.” An event like this can take down a room in less than 30 seconds, according to the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Standards and Technology. When situating your tree, never place it too close to a fireplace or other heat source.
When placing decorative lights both indoors and outdoors on your home, inspect them first. If they are the same lights you have had for years and look as though they have seen better days, the safest thing to do is replace them. These string lights are inexpensive, so you do not need to worry about breaking the bank when decorating. If the strings are frayed, there are a significant number of bulbs missing, or the sockets themselves are compromised, do the safest thing and make a run to the store. Never leave your outdoor lights up all year, due to wildlife and the elements, and always clip them up as opposed to nailing or stapling them.
The Fireplace and Candles
Did you know that the four most dangerous days of the year for candle fires are Christmas Day and Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve? A candle-related fire is four times more likely to occur in December than it is at other times of the year. If you are someone who loves an ambient scent or entertains with candles on their dinner tables, be very mindful. Never leave them unattended, never go to bed without blowing them out, and keep them at least a foot away from anything flammable. For your fireplace, always have some sort of screen for the protection of your family members, pets and other hazards – keep your stockings up high. Remember that it is never a bad idea to have your chimney inspected and cleaned before peak season for their use.
Restoration 1 Is the Top Name for Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration
Across the nation, Restoration 1 continues to take the lead as the most trustworthy name in fire damage restoration. In the blink of an eye, everything can change, and you need someone you can trust to expertly reverse the damage. Restoration 1 is that company; we are available 24/7 to help you move beyond a fire during the holidays or any other time of year. Find your nearest location today.