Monday, November 17, 2014

Holiday Fire Safety


With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, it’s important to remember how to be extra cautious this holiday season. According to the United States Fire Administration, home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season; some of the main causes of winter house fires are: electrical issues, heating equipment, cooking accidents, and candles. 

According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), from 2011 alone, there was an estimated 47,000 home structure fires that involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction. These fires resulted in over 418 civilian deaths and over 1500 injuries.  Also in 2011, there was an estimated 53,000 home fires caused by heating equipment, 39,000 from cooking accidents, and another 10,000 from candles. These incidents resulted in many casualties and thousands of injuries. 

Some basic fire safety tips for the holiday season are, but not limited to:

  • Don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords.  During the holiday season it’s easy to try and plug in an abundance of decorative lights into one extension cord to decorate your holiday tree. Try to use multiple outlets to power your tree to reduce the likelihood of an electrical fire that could start your tree or even your house on fire.
  • Don’t leave portable heaters running while unattended. Portable heaters (Space Heaters), account for a significant amount of fires per year. Turn off any portable heating appliances when leaving your home or going to sleep at night. Always have at least 3 feet of clearance between heating equipment and anything that could burn.
  • Never leave cooking food unattended on the stovetop. The holiday season can be a hectic time of life. When you’re trying to get everything ready at once it’s important to remember safety. Make sure there is always someone watching your stovetop while you’re cooking to make sure no unexpected fires break out. 
  • Install and maintain working smoke detectors. According to the National Weather service, many home fire deaths occur in houses that don’t have working smoke detectors. Check your smoke detectors on a monthly basis, making sure to replace batteries as needed. 

These are just a few of the many things you can do to reduce the chance of a fire in your home this holiday season. For more ideas and potential fire hazards, please visit the National Fire Protection Association website or contact your local Fire Marshall.  

We know it’s easy to cut corners when you’re in a rush and getting ready for your whole extended family to show up at your doorstep.  Just remember, no matter how much you clean up or how good you think your meal tastes, if you risk burning down the house in the process, it isn’t worth it.  We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. 

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Christopher Feigal
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company