It is finally December, a time for holiday celebrations, decorations and family. However, this time of year can be hazardous as well. House fires happen more often during the winter holidays, and they can lead to injuries and deaths. This is why you need to take safety precautions when preparing for the holiday season. Here are a few tips that may help:
Hang Your Lights with Care
Did you know that you shouldn’t connect more than three light strands at a time? Did you know you shouldn’t use electric lights on a metallic Christmas tree? Where and how you hang your holiday lights can play a big role in fire safety. Before you hang those lights, check them for cracked sockets, loose connections and frayed wires. If you find this kind of damage, it would probably be a good idea to replace that section of lights. Make sure you use extension cords that are rated for outdoor use outside, and vise-versa for indoor use cords. Also, using LED lights rather than incandescent lights can save energy and prevent burns since LEDs don’t get as hot. Bonus Tip! When hanging lights outside, always have someone help. They can secure ladders and help prevent fall injuries
Mind Your Tree
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments in the U.S. respond to an average of 200 house fires that were started by Christmas trees every year. This is why it can be very important to take extra precautions when displaying a tree in your home. If you purchase a live tree, make sure it’s fresh. If the tree is losing a lot of needles, or if needles on the tree easily break when bent, that tree is probably not fresh. Make sure the tree holder you use has a base that can hold water for the tree. Check the tree’s water level every day. Whether you have a live tree or an artificial tree, try not to place it near a heat source like a fireplace or heating vent.
Watch Your Candles
Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza and other winter holidays often use candles as part of their festive traditions. However, over half of December decoration fires (55 percent) are started by candles. If you are going to burn candles as part of your holiday celebration, don’t leave them unattended. Every candle should be extinguished before you leave the room or house. Don’t let those candles burn down so low that they start to heat the holders they are in. You should also keep candles in a place where they cannot be reached by children or pets. Also, make sure no flammable materials are close to or hanging over your holiday candles.
Have a Safe Holiday Season!
Remember, a safe holiday season is the best kind of holiday. Avoid fire hazards and be mindful about safety. If you or a loved one are still injured despite these precautions, don’t be afraid to turn to the attorneys at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP. We represent people hurt by the negligence of others, so if you need help, call (408) 956-6949.