How to Prevent Fire Damage During the Holidays
Thursday, December 15, 2016
It’s Christmas time again and that means…National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. If your family is like mine, we watch the movie at least once every year during the holidays. We know the entire movie by heart, and still we Santa style belly laugh at each of the ridiculous festive faux pas that the Griswolds, mainly Clark, make over the holidays. But belly laughing aside, we can actually learn a lot about how to prevent fire damage from the Griswolds. The following are some tips to prevent fire damage during the holidays, as evidenced by National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 😀 :
1. Consider choosing a flame-resistant, artificial Christmas tree instead of a real one; artificial trees are more resistant to fires. If you opt for a real tree, choose a fresh one with green needles.
2. Choose flame-resistant decorations, and move breakable decorations to the top where children and pets can’t reach them.
3. Use battery-operated candles whenever possible. If you use lighted candles, always place them in a candleholder and place the candleholder on a stable, heat-resistant surface. Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Never use lighted candles to decorate your Christmas tree.
4. Keep matches and lighters out children’s reach and, preferably, out of sight.
5. Inspect holiday lights for frayed wiring, loose connections, cracked sockets, and broken bulbs before displaying them.
6. Use extension cords carefully – never plug more than three sets of lights into one extension cord to keep the cord from overheating.
7. Securely fasten outdoor lights to trees, gutters or other parts of the home, making sure that they are not too close to windows and doors. Use roof clips or insulated staples to fasten the lights.
8. Do not leave the kitchen unattended while cooking. If a pan does catch fire, do not pour water on it, as this may cause burning oil to splash, resulting in injuries.
9. Before using your fireplace, have it and the chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional. Place a protective screen across the fireplace to prevent embers from escaping onto flammable materials.
10. Ask smokers to smoke outside and take smoking materials with them so that children will not be able to access them. Make sure you have a deep ashtray on hand for extinguishing cigarettes.
11. Have a fire extinguisher ready that is rated for all types of fires on every level of the home.
12. Make sure your smoke alarms are working and test them monthly. Change the batteries yearly. A good rule of thumb is to change them with Daylight Savings Time. If you haven’t yet changed them this year, do it now. Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.
For more information about how to prevent fire damage specifically involving Christmas trees, please see our previous post Christmas Tree Fire Safety.
The Griswolds and their shenanigans are great for a laugh, but fire damage in real life is a bit more serious. The professionals at Joe Taylor Restoration are IICRC certified and have extensive experience in restoring both fire and smoke damage, as well as communicating with insurance companies.We are ready to respond to your fire emergency within 2 hours of your call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But our hope is that you take some cues from National Lampoon’s, avoid any fire or smoke damage, and have a fantastic fire-free holiday season.