Don’t Let a Fire Extinguish Your Holiday Cheer!
The winter holiday season is a time to gather with family and friends, eat good meals, and share memories. Unfortunately, it is also peak house fire season. All these fires are preventable.
Christmas Tree Fires
Half of all home tree fires involve electrical distribution or lighting equipment. Your tree is more vulnerable if it is dry. So, if you decide to use a fresh-cut tree, be sure to keep it watered and remove it when the needles start to dry out.
Carefully inspect your lights for frayed cables and missing bulbs. Never overload extension cords, power strips, or outlets.
Although we no longer use actual candles to light our trees with actual candles (which, as you can imagine, was a real fire hazard), we often leave candles and other heat sources too close to them. This results in one-fifth of the 160 average Christmas tree fires each year.
When you dispose of your tree, please bring it to the curb so that it doesn’t pose a risk of fire to your home or other structures.
Candles can always cause a fire, with an average of 20 home fires caused by candles each day. But around the holidays, candles are used in more significant numbers, so the number of fires caused by them increases. These statistics peak on Christmas Day when candle fires are 2.5 times the daily average.
Most candles start a fire when they are too close to another flammable object such as bedding, curtains, or decorations. Therefore, you must place candles where they can’t get knocked down or bumped. Never leave them unattended, and if possible, use battery-powered candles.
We tend to cook a lot for the holidays. We use equipment that we don’t usually use, and we are often distracted by conversations with loved ones. The number one day for home cooking fires is Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas Day and then Christmas Eve.
You must never leave cooking food unattended. Have baking Soda nearby in case of a grease fire and lids to smother any pans that might burst into flames.
Have your fire extinguishers charged and know-how and when to use them. Not all extinguishers are used for the same things.
A is for use with ordinary flammable material like cloth, wood, and paper.
B is used for combustible and flammable liquids like grease, oil, gasoline, and oil-based paints.
C is for electrical equipment, appliances, and tools that are plugged in.
D is for flammable metals and is usually only found in factories.
K is for fats and oils in cooking appliances such as deep fryers.
You can also get a multipurpose extinguisher that covers classes A-C. Before using an extinguisher, make sure you are using the right kind on the right fire, or the results could be disastrous. Also, the extinguisher should be at the recommended pressure level. Check this annually and have your extinguisher recharged if it has expired.
Only attempt to put out small fires.
While someone calls 911, you may attempt to put out a small, contained fire. You can remember the steps to properly putting out a fire with the acronym PASS.
Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
Aim low toward the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
Always be prepared
Along with having your fire extinguishers charged and available, you should always have insurance in case of a fire. Of course, no one ever expects to have a fire in their home, but it does, unfortunately, happen. Contact the team of experienced independent insurance agents at Hermann Insurance Services to ensure you have the best coverage if the worst happens.