Protecting Your Home from Holiday Fire Hazards

November 30, 2015

Ah, the holiday season has finally arrived! Most Americans love the holiday season because of the holiday treats, feasts, and family traditions such as gathering around the fireplace for a cup of hot cocoa and decorating your home with lights, candles, and much more.

But all of these wonderful holiday activities do more than just spread holiday cheer, they also increase the number of fire hazards in your home, and you need to make sure that all of your safety devices like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly and that they have fresh batteries.

I’m sure we have all seen the TV commercial in the past that shows just how quickly a Christmas tree can foster a raging fire with the smallest malfunction from an electrical outlet or string of lights. To keep your home and your loved ones safe from fire hazards this holiday season, remember the following critical safety tips.

Water Christmas Trees Every Day

Though many families in today’s world like to use synthetic and plastic Christmas trees, many families keep to the tradition of buying a real tree. If your family follows this tradition, make sure that you water your tree every day. In doing so, you will prevent the tree from drying out and becoming more susceptible to fire. A healthy tree that absorbs appropriate amounts of moisture will help mitigate the risk of fires.

Check Your Smoke Alarms

We often forget about our smoke alarms unless we accidentally burn our food when we are cooking holiday treats, but your smoke alarms are critical to your safety this time of year, as well as all year long. Make sure that you replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and use their test feature to ensure that they are working correctly. The brief discomfort to your ears will be worth it, we promise.

Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If you don’t have carbon monoxide detectors, it is high time you purchased some. On the other hand, if you already have them installed in your home, you need to follow the same procedures that you did for your smoke alarms. Ensure that they have fresh batteries and that they are working appropriately, because carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous due to the fact that it is a lethal and odorless gas. As with smoke detectors, more than one unit is typically required to properly ‘blanket’ your home. Areas such as bedrooms, living rooms, the kitchen, and mechanical room are some of the prime candidates for places to locate your safety alarms.

Don’t Keep Your Lights on When You Aren’t at Home

It’s normal to want to show off your holiday spirit with lights, but you should turn them off when you aren’t at home. One malfunction or electrical problem with those strings of lights could destroy your house in the blink of an eye. The last thing you want during the holiday season is to come home and find that your property was reduced to cinders due to faulty electrical components.

Keep an Eye on Your Candles

Candles are also very popular this time of year, and you should not leave a burning candle unattended. Though a pumpkin or pine scented candle may seem innocent and innocuous, they have the potential to start a fire that puts your family and your home in harm’s way.

Supervise Your Space Heaters

Lastly, just like your candles and lights, your space heaters need supervision as well. It can get very cold in Colorado over the holiday season and beyond, and portable electric and gas space heaters are a popular way to supplement heating in old apartments or rooms of your home that don’t get enough heat.

Sure, it can seem like torture to wait for a room to warm up, but never leave a space heater running in a room that isn’t occupied, unless absolutely necessary. In the latter case, take all possible precautions and check the unit frequently while its operating. With electric units, feel the plug and socket that the unit is plugged into, to make sure it isn’t getting too hot or giving off a strange smell. If it is, unplug the unit immediately. Lastly, try not to operate space heaters at maximum heat settings, as that will put the most stress on the unit.

Space heater technology is a lot safer these days than it was in the past, but the truth is that they are still the root cause of many fires.

All of us here at Save Home Heat Company want you to be safe this holiday season. So please check the batteries in those detectors, be extra careful with space heaters, and keep an eye on lights, candles, trees and other decorations surrounding them. Have a happy and safe holiday season!