Did you know that more fires are started in homes during the holidays than any other time of year? During the holiday season, there is an increase in fires caused by heating, electricity and candles. This is why practicing fire safety around the holidays is especially important.
We’ve compiled a list of a few simple tips that will help you avoid a fire in your home this holiday season. Keep on reading to learn more!
Tip One: Use Light Displays and Holiday Décor Responsibly
Christmas lights and décor can be a cause of fires around this time of year. It is of the utmost importance that you use your Christmas lights and decorations appropriately and safely. The tips below will help you stay as safe as possible:
- Do not use any lights that are intended for outdoor use on your Christmas tree. Only use lights that are safe for use indoors.
- Consider using LED lights to decorate your tree. These type of lights are less likely to cause fires.
- Try not to leave your Christmas tree lights on for extended periods of time, as this can make your home more vulnerable to a fire. Remember to turn the lights off before leaving your home. Consider investing in a timer that will turn the lights off for you after a specific amount of time.
- Do not overload your electrical circuits when plugging in any Christmas trees or decorations. This can cause an electrical fire. Spread your decorations out as much as possible.
- Keep any cords, lights or electric displays away from snow, water or any type of moisture.
- To avoid any possible damages to the insulation of any cords, double check that they are not pinched in doors or windows, or placed under any heavy furniture.
- Do not leave lit candles unattended during the holidays. Remember to keep all lighters, matches and other fire-starting materials away from any children.
Tip Two: Inspect Your Home’s Furnace, Heater and Fireplace
Another major cause of home fires during the holiday season, and winter in general, is caused by heating devices, such as furnaces and fireplaces. Before turning them on, make sure to double check that they have been set up safely by following these tips:
- Set up any portable heating units in a spacious area, and make sure that there is ample space around your furnace.
- Do not keep anything that is potentially flammable close to a heating unit. A rule of thumb is that these things should be kept at least three feet away. This includes things such as your Christmas tree, Christmas ornaments, hanging stockings, gift boxes and bags, curtains and carpets.
- If your home contains a chimney and/or a fireplace, remember to inspect and maintain it regularly. Check for any soot buildup and remove it, clean the interior of your fire place, inspect the chimney and its cap, and consider using fire screens to help keep any lit fires inside your fireplace.
- Always have a fire extinguisher available near both your fireplace and your kitchen.
- Have both carbon monoxide and smoke alarms installed in your home, and regularly test them to ensure that they are properly working.
Tip Three: Remember to Cook With Care
Most families tend to do more cooking and/or baking during the holiday season. This can lead to a greater risk of a fire in your household due to cooking fires in an oven or on a stove. Please keep the following tips in mind while cooking during this time of year:
- Do not leave your stove or oven unattended while it’s on. Be sure to stay in the kitchen when you have something cooking.
- Make sure that your oven is properly cleaned before using it. If it has not been cleaned, a buildup of carbon monoxide can occur that could lead to a fire.
- Remember to turn off your stovetop burners and oven after cooking. Also remove any pans from the stove once finished, as the stovetop can remain hot after it has been turned off.
- If you are going to be grilling outdoors, make sure to place the griller or fire pit at least 10 feet away from your home or any other flammable structures.
Tip Four: Invest in Proper Home Insurance Coverage
While it’s always a good idea for you to have a strong home insurance policy, it is even more important that you’re protected with home insurance over the holiday season. A good home insurance policy will help to protect you and your family against the dangers of fires during this time of year. It will help cover any damages in the unfortunate event of a fire in your home.
Speaking to a broker is a great way to learn more about the types of coverage that are available to you, and which ones are the most suitable for your lifestyle and your individual household.
If you are planning on travelling during this holiday season, or going to be leaving your home unattended for an extended period of time, it’s important for you to know how often your property needs to be checked while you’re away. A BrokerLink broker will be able to review your specific homeowner’s policy to determine this time frame.
If you’re interested in learning more about home insurance, or even just your insurance options in general, we’re here to help! Get a home quote, give us a call or stop by one of our community branches.
Holiday Fire Tips FAQs
How can I safely decorate my house this holiday season?
There are many ways that you can safely decorate your home during the holidays. Some of the most popular tips for safe holiday decorating include using LED Christmas lights, keeping anything flammable at least 3 feet away from heaters and fireplaces, and spreading your decorations out throughout the house to avoid overloading your circuits.
Is it safe to leave Christmas lights on all night?
It is recommended that you do not leave your Christmas lights on for any extended periods of time. Christmas lights should not be left unattended, as they can cause a fire. Consider investing in an automatic timer, which will turn the lights off for you.
What holiday has the most home fires?
According to statistics, December and January are the peak months for fires in the home. Make sure you keep yourself and your loved ones safe by practicing good fire safety habits.