Holiday Fire and Entertainment Safety Tips for Homeowners

December 14, 2015

In the winter months, the holiday season is always an eventful and festive time of year. Many people celebrate the holidays with gatherings of friends and family members. As a rule, most people receive more house guests during the winter holidays. Although it is nice to spend time with loved ones, it is important to keep safety in mind. The winter holidays are also the time of year with the most electrical accidents and home fires. The Electrical Safety Foundation International conducts a safety awareness program every year to help people across the country prepare for a safer holiday season. Having an actionable approach that incorporates the most important safety elements is important.

Fire Safety

Thanksgiving is the most common holiday for home fires. Many people start fires when they are preparing their Thanksgiving feats. However, Christmas is close behind with its feast-focused celebrations. To minimize the risk of fire in the kitchen and throughout the rest of the home, use the following tips:

  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing when cooking a over an open flame.
  • Never leave the kitchen while food is on the stove.
  • Do not leave holiday candles burning unattended, and make sure nothing surrounds candles.
  • Have any fireplaces inspected each year, and have the chimney cleaned annually.
  • Replace the batteries on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every month.
  • Do not leave space heaters unattended, and do not leave them running while sleeping.
  • Only use UL-approved space heaters and similar heating devices.
  • If any electrical heaters have frayed cords, replace them or throw away the heating units.
  • Do not place decorative holiday lights near flammable substances or other decorations.
  • When using a fake tree, make sure it is a flame-resistant product.
  • Avoid using extension cords for holiday lights and other lighted decorations.
  • Do not buy counterfeit electronic products.

Entertaining Safety

When guests enter a home, they expect their host to provide a safe environment. Trying to prepare for guests while managing holiday shopping, work obligations and social commitments can be a challenge. Use the following helpful tips to prepare for entertaining guests while protecting their safety:

  • If any expected visitors are children, make sure harmful or small objects are out of reach.
  • When in doubt, avoid using ingredients such as nuts that some guests are allergic to.
  • For gatherings where alcohol is served, do not let guests drive home intoxicated.
  • Make sure burning candles are not in close proximity to guests.
  • Always keep walkways shoveled and treated with sand or salt when there is snow or ice.
  • Make sure there is plenty of light outdoors at night, and check bulbs frequently.
  • Set the water heater temperature to 120 degrees to avoid scalding any guests.
  • Keep medications and especially controlled substances locked in a safe place.

By making a few simple changes, Americans can keep themselves, their families and their holiday guests safer and happier this season. To learn more about holiday safety tips and being insured against possible problems, discuss concerns with an agent.

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