How to Fireproof Your Decorations
Have you taken your dried out live Christmas Tree to the curb for pickup? Or are you still trying to keep the Christmas spirit alive in your home? For many folks, one of the most enjoyable aspects of the holiday season is decorating their homes — there’s nothing quite like a beautifully adorned tree or strings of colorful lights to capture the Christmas spirit.
While decorations enhance the joy of the season, they can also increase the risk of a fire. Dried-out Christmas trees, overloaded electrical circuits and unattended fireplaces are just a few of the many potential hazards that could cause a devastating house fire. Stay safe during the holidays by implementing the following household decorating tips:
- Situate your tree safely: Set up your Christmas tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces or radiators. If you have a live tree, water it regularly to prevent it from drying out. If you prefer an artificial tree, purchase one made from fire-retardant PVC plastic material. Be wary of using a pre-lit Christmas tree, as many of these pose a fire hazard.
- Consider electrical upgrades: Consider using LED bulbs instead of traditional incandescent bulbs for your indoor and outdoor Christmas lighting. In addition to consuming less energy, LED lights burn cooler, reducing the risk of fire. Don’t overload electrical outlets with an excessive amount of extension cords and adapters, and never string more than three strands of lights together. Inspect strands before hanging and discards ones with frayed or damaged wires.
- Exercise caution when using candles: Candles can add to the holiday ambiance, but unattended or improperly used candles increase the risk of fire. Place candles on a ceramic plate or other fire-resistant surface and keep them away from flammable objects. Also, keep burning candles out of the reach of small children and pets. Extinguish candles when before moving them or when leaving a room.
- Ensure your fireplace is working properly: If your home has a fireplace, have the chimney professionally cleaned and inspected in the fall, just before the start of the holiday season. If you observe the tradition of hanging stockings by the fireplace, avoid doing so while a fire is burning. Also, avoid stacking gifts near the fireplace and do not throw discarded wrapping paper into the fire.
- Have an evacuation plan in place: Make sure you and your family know what to do if a fire breaks out. Develop an evacuation plan that includes knowledge of the nearest exit for each area of your home. Keep all doorways and exits clear to ensure an unobstructed escape path. Never go back inside a burning home to retrieve gifts or other items.
- Upgrade your home security system: The holiday season is also a good time to evaluate your home security system and make any necessary upgrades. Strategically placed smoked detectors can provide the early warning that saves lives. Make sure all smoke detectors are working properly and change the batteries if needed.
Titan Alarm, Inc. offers high-quality security solutions that will help you create a fireproof home during the holidays — and throughout the year. Contact us for additional safety tips and to schedule a free in-home security consultation today.
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Updated by Titan Alarm on November 5, 2018.