How are you getting ready for the holidays? Whether it’s by baking batches of your favorite cookies or by doing some last minute cleaning, fire safety should be on everyone’s holiday preparation list!
The risk of home fire is at its greatest during cold winter months. Festive things like string lights, Christmas trees, Menorahs, and holiday parties can all increase this risk. Follow our tips for a safer holiday season.
We know the holidays can get hectic, especially if you’re hosting friends and family in your home. If you plan to cook a big meal, keep these tips in mind:
- Always stay in the kitchen while food is cooking.
- Clear your cooking space of clutter, like oven mitts, wooden utensils, or dish towels, which can be flammable.
- Never leave children unsupervised in the kitchen while food is cooking.
- Turn pot handles in or towards the back of the stove to minimize the risk of knocking hot pots to the ground.
- Use timers to make sure you don’t forget about cooking food.
- Make sure all smoke alarms are working, especially those in and around your kitchen.
‘Tis the season to pull the holiday decorations out of the attic and make your home feel festive! Just make sure you’re keeping your home safe as well with these tips:
- If you have a real Christmas tree, make sure to water it every day. Dried out trees are far more likely to ignite.
- Be mindful of where you put your tree in your home. It should not be near any heat sources such as fireplaces, heating vents, radiators, or candles.
- Make sure to turn the lights on your Christmas tree off every night before you go to bed or when you are away from home.
- Check your lights before you string them out. Damaged, frayed, or cracked lights should be thrown away.
- Check the instructions before connecting multiple strings of lights to make sure you’re not overloading your circuits.
- Use appropriate clips and hangers when hanging lights outside of your home.
With a soft glow and a warm smell, candles are a great way to make your home feel more cozy, especially around the holidays. Just remember to do the following whenever you use a candle:
- A lit candle should never be left unattended.
- Keep ample space between candles and flammable objects, like curtains or house plants.
- Make sure your candle is in a secure holder that will not tip over.
- Be mindful of children and pets when placing and using candles.
- Blow candles out before you go to bed or leave the house.
- Consider flameless LED candles for less worry.
As the temperatures drop, many of us find ourselves pulling out space heaters or even lighting fireplaces. While these things can all make your home warmer, they also pose a fire risk. Minimize your risk with these tips:
- Get your fireplace cleaned and inspected every year.
- Use a screen in front of your fireplace to prevent the spread of burning embers.
- Never keep flammable objects in front of or near your fireplace.
- Only burn seasoned wood in your fireplace.
- Never leave a space heater on unattended.
- Do not plug space heaters into extension cords or surge protectors; always plug them in directly into a wall outlet.
- Make sure you use a space heater with an anti-tip function and auto shut off.
- Do not place space heaters too close to flammable items, like bedding, clothing, or carpeting.
We hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday season! If you have more questions about protecting your home, Quincy Mutual Group works with over 500 independent insurance agents who are ready to help! Visit our website to connect with a local agent near you: bit.ly/QuincyFindAgent.