Fire Safety Tips For The Holiday Season

December 15, 2015

Professional Home Inspector

 

There are so many fun decorations that go along with all of the festivities of the holiday season.  Along with the fun, there are certainly different safety hazards that come into play with the seasonal décor and time of year. The use of greenery and lights are often the focal points of this aspect of holiday cheer not to mention that it is typically colder this time of year and heaters, fireplaces and candles light up the house. As you are preparing to load up your home with all of these decorations and heating elements, take some time to go over these tips to help minimize your risk of having disasters take place at your home.

 

The Twinkling Lights

There are several note worthy tips to mention here, since electrical decorations and lights tend to be a common element in anyone’s holiday décor.

  • Inspect each strand of lights, and each decoration that uses electricity, prior to use.  Look for frayed, bare or loose wires and damaged sockets as all of these could lead to the start of a fire.  Do not use the decoration if any part of the electrical line is compromised in any way.

  • Limit the number of incandescent lights to only three strands to avoid further hazards.

  • Consider switching your light decorations to LED lights.  LEDs don’t heat up like traditional lights and they run on less energy.

  • Turn off all electrical décor prior to going to bed or leaving the house. Or put a timer on all of your lights so they turn off automatically, just in case you forget. It will reduce potential fire hazards as well as electrical costs, so it’s a win-win situation.

  • Blow out candles when not attended especially if you have little ones or pets around that could knock them over.

  • Turn off electric portable heaters and extinguish the fire in fireplaces when you leave or go to bed.

  • Make a decoration placement plan.  Inventory your electrical outlets before you set up your lighting.  You will want to space out your decorations and be sure that they can safely reach an outlet.  This will prevent you from stretching the cord, therefore compromising its safety, and will help you avoid over-using your outlets.

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the use and care of the decoration.

  • When mounting lights, only use supports that don’t damage or interfere with the integrity of the cord.

 

 

The Fresh, Green Tree

Enjoying a fresh or an artificial tree is the centerpiece of countless living rooms in Texas. Make sure to use precautionary measures, through tree maintenance and placement in the room, to keep you and your holiday safe.

  • Keep the tree away from sources of heat, such as the fireplace, radiator, candles and so forth.

  • If you have a real tree, be sure to keep it well watered.  A fresh tree is one that maintains its vibrant green color, fills the room with that fresh scent and reduces the chance of fire.

  • Keep an eye on your tree after the holidays as it may be getting more brittle and dry due to the heat in your home and time away from it’s roots.

  • Check the bulbs of the lights on your tree to make sure that they aren’t getting too warm and that you are using tree-safe lights.  You can tell by looking on the packaging to see if it says it has been tested in a lab by the ETL/ITSNA or the UL for safety.

 

Be your own holiday inspector to reduce the risk of potential fire hazards that can be cause by the festivities of the season.  Being careful and strategic will help keep your family safe and make your season bright.

 

Should you have any questions or concerns about the safety of your home, the electric components, large appliances such as heaters and such, feel free to get a pre-holiday season or post-holiday season inspection. Contact A-Action Houston Home Inspection Team today!

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