Are your holiday celebrations at risk of catching fire?

You’ve never had a problem in the past. Why is everyone warning about the dangers that accompany the holidays? Because historically, the holidays are a time when fire departments and emergency rooms get an increase in calls due to accidents and fires.

No one expects to have a fire or an injury during the holidays and that’s exactly why it’s so important to be mindful of preventing it. Take a couple of minutes to read through these simple, safety tips that will make sure your holidays are fun and joy filled like they should be.

Kitchen Safety:

Almost every household has holiday traditions that hinge on the kitchen. There are so many wonderful, traditional foods and treats to cook for parties, feasts and dinners. Those include everything from Thanksgiving gatherings to holiday season parties and meals at Christmas and Hanukkah. But that isn’t all. It continues on to New Year’s Eve, Day and even Super Bowl parties.

Commercial kitchens are routinely inspected for safety hazards, while many residential kitchens are never inspected. That’s why it’s important to do your own inspection. Just because you don’t have to pass food service licensing procedures doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk of a disaster in the kitchen. Schedule a time to inspect your kitchen once or twice a year. Pick a time you can remember easily like daylight savings or the day before Thanksgiving.

Steps to Inspect Your Kitchen

  • Keep fire extinguishers (that are appropriately rated) nearby
  • Put new batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
  • Keep a big box of baking soda near at hand in case you need to dump it on a skillet to suppress a sudden fire
  • Make sure any electrical outlets near sources of water like the ink or dishwasher are properly outfitted with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI outlets).
  • Use non-slip mats on the floor
  • Store cleaning products away from children’s reach an away from food preparation surfaces

Trees and Lights:

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) says between 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 210 home fires started with Christmas trees per year.

An easy fix is to use an artificial tree. However, if that goes against all your valued holiday traditions, here are some tips to prevent your Christmas tree from starting a fire in your home.

Keep it watered – check out this video from the NFPA that shows the difference in flamability of a dry versus watered Christmas tree.

Lots of Christmas trees have a relatively high resin content so the wood burns really easily and can be engulfed in flames within a matter of seconds.

Test your lights and replace them if they aren’t working correctly

Make sure there are no cracks or frays in the plastic insulation and that the plug goes into the outlet is intact

Don’t place a tree close to a lamp that uses high intensity halogen bulbs because those bulbs can get hot enough to burn anything they come in contact with

Keep space heaters away from the tree

Remember, it’s worth the few extra minutes to ensure the safety of your household this Holiday season.

by A&J Specialty Services, Inc.