December, 6 By Chandlee
Homes are filled with twinkling lights, holiday guests and festive decorations. The combination should mean many happy memories, but it also brings an increased risk of home fires. In fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, during the winter holidays structure fires increase and the dollar loss per fire is 34 percent greater than normal.
Fireplace: Ensure stockings and holiday decorations are off the mantle before starting a fire in your fireplace and always use the fireplace screen. Recycle your wrapping paper instead of burning it in your fireplace. Burning wrapping paper could produce dangerous sparks or flares of intense heat.
Kitchen : The kitchen is a busy place from Thanksgiving through the holiday season. Never leave anything cooking unattended, not even for a minute. Turn pot handles inward so that little hands can’t grab them. And keep your kitchen and your cooking area free of clutter to avoid unnecessary accidents.
Space Heaters : Look for the UL Mark on your space heater and read the instructions before using it. Move space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn (e.g., curtains, blankets) and never leave a space heater on when you leave the room or go to sleep. Be sure to teach children (and practice it yourself) to never place anything on top of a space heater to dry.
Electrical Safety : Check electrical outlets and make sure they are not overloaded. Look for the UL Mark on all your electrical cords and holiday lights. When decorating, inspect cords for damage and fraying and always keep extension cords away from where children play. Never run an extension cord under a rug or tack it up to a wall with a nail or staple.
Candles Care : Walk around your home and move candles away from anything that can burn. Store matches and lighters away from children and be sure to blow out candles before you leave the room or go to sleep. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
With just a few, simple steps you can help protect your family from hazards in the home this holiday season.