The holiday season is quickly approaching. While food, decorations and time with friends and family is what makes this time of year special, some of these traditions increase your fire risk. Strings of lights mixed with flammable decorations and a variety of heat sources is a recipe for disaster. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t participate in festive traditions. It just means that you should be aware of the heightened risk and implement safety precautions to reduce your chances of experiencing fire and smoke damage this holiday season.

  1. Make sure you don’t leave space heaters unattended. They can easily fall over or come into contact with flammable items.
  2. Keep holiday decorations and Christmas trees away from heat source like heaters, fireplaces and space heaters. A good rule of thumb is to place all flammable items 3 feet from any type of heat source.
  3. Use battery powered candles instead of traditional ones. According to the NFPA, the top three days for home candle fires is Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve. If you do use real candles, keep them away from flammable items and remember to blow them out before you leave the room.
  4. Only use holiday lights that are approved by a well-known testing lab. Read the label and use outdoor and indoor lights accordingly.
  5. Don’t connect too many light strands together. According to the NFPA, electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 43% of home Christmas tree fires.
  6. Unplug lights when you leave your home and before you go to bed.
  7. If you string lights over a real tree, make sure the tree always has enough water. When the tree becomes dry and brittle, it’s time to dispose of it.
  8. Don’t force cords into small spaces or allow them to be pinched by nails or staples.
  9. Make sure outlets aren’t overloaded. A couple of ways to make sure this doesn’t happen is to only use one large electrical appliance at a time and don’t plug extension cords into each other.
  10. Use caution while cooking family favorites this holiday season. According to the NFPA, Peak days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Practice good cooking habits before a large holiday meal so that everything runs more smoothly on the big day.
  11. Never leave stovetop unattended and clean before use. Leftover food and grease can easily catch on fire.
  12. Last but not least, maintain detectors, fire extinguishers and fire escape plans in case a fire occurs. In addition, make sure that windows and doors are kept clear of holiday decorations.

Stay disaster free this holiday season by implementing safety practices into your everyday routine. ServiceMaster Professional Cleaning in West Tennessee wishes you and yours a safe and happy holiday season. If you experience fire or smoke damage, contact us at 888-930-3351 day or night. Our professionally trained staff can offer you the quality and service you deserve in your time of need.

Photo by: © Maglara | Dreamstime.com