During the holidays, there are several potential sources of fire that homeowners should pay special attention to. In this wonderful season of beauty, generosity, and fun, it’s easy to get distracted with shopping, parties, travel, and special celebrations.
Live Christmas trees should have fresh, green needles that are strong and hold up well to ornaments and other decorations. Keep live trees moist by watering them frequently. A dry tree will burn quickly if exposed to a close heat source.
All trees and decorations should be at least 3 feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, heating vents, space heaters, radiators, and candles. If shopping for an artificial tree, choose one that is flame retardant. Always unplug the tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to sleep.
Stringed lights should be well maintained to avoid frayed or damaged electrical cords. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions, including those that tell how many strings can be attached to each other.
All candles must be blown out completely before leaving the room or going to sleep. Designate a family member to check each night that all candles in your home are properly extinguished. Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
Keep pot holders, wooden utensils, food packaging, and dish towels away from your stove top. Turn off space heaters and gas fireplaces before going to sleep. Make sure you allow enough time for a real-wood fireplace to smolder out before everyone goes to sleep.
The Red Cross recommends installing a smoke alarm near your kitchen, and on each level of your home. Test the alarms once a month using the test button, and replace batteries once a year. Practice a 2-minute drill, and ensure that your family can safely escape your home in the event of a fire in under 2 minutes. For more information regarding fire safety tips, please visit www.redcross.org/homefires.
Mr. Handyman of Wheaton-Hinsdale
245 W. Roosevelt Road #69
West Chicago, IL