The U.S. Fire Administration reports that winter residential building fires result in approximately 945 deaths and 3,845 injuries each year, along with an estimated $1.7 billion in property damage. We want to make sure you’re staying as safe as possible as you and your family enjoy all the comforts of the season. Here are a few hazards to be aware of:
Holiday decorations | Water your Christmas tree regularly as dry needles are a severe fire hazard. Pay close attention to where the tree and other decorations are placed so that they’re not too close to sources of ignition, such as a fireplace or a heater.
Space heaters |Never point a space heater directly at anything flammable, such as a pile of newspapers or clothing. Never use a space heater with a worn cord, a missing safety guard, or a model that lacks a safety shutoff that automatically shuts the unit off if it gets tipped over.
Extension cords | Don’t use them if you can avoid it. Be sure they’re of the proper wire size for the item being plugged into it, and don’t ever exceed that. Don’t put cords in front of fireplaces, heaters or cooking appliances, and don’t drape them where they can fall down onto something hot.
Candles | Candles have a dangerous open flame, so be careful where you set them. Jar candles are safer since the flame is contained, and the lid will completely snuff out the flame.
Leaves and needles | Don’t let dry leaves and needles build up on your roof, especially a wood roof. Make sure the spark arrestor on your chimney is in place as well.
Combustible materials | Store newspapers, kindling and firewood a safe distance away from the fireplace. The same goes for other combustibles, such as clothing, dog beds, etc.
Hot ashes | Fireplace ashes are hot long after the fire has gone out. If you’re going to clean out your fireplace, don’t put the ashes in a paper bag, cardboard box, or plastic garbage can. Use only a metal can.
From all of us here at Encore Custom Homes, have a happy, healthy and most of all safe holiday season!