Top 4 Holiday Fire Prevention Tips

The holidays are here, and it's time to eat good food and sit around the fire with family. Unfortunately, this is also the season for home fires. 30% of all home fires occur from December through February. To keep your family safe this holiday season, here are four fire protection tips:

1. Make sure your kitchen is properly equipped.

If you're cooking for a large family this year, it's essential that you have fire safety equipment in your kitchen. Here is a general guide:

  • Make sure your vent hood works properly. If it's malfunctioning, have a new one installed. If you don't have a hood, invest in one or keep your windows open for circulation.
  • Have a fire suppression system installed onto your kitchen hood.
  • Keep an inspected fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Make sure you know how to use it.
  • While cooking, always set a timer, especially if you leave the kitchen.

2. Check all your smoke detectors.

Check all the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. To do this, you will need a ladder. Simply press and hold down the button on the alarm. It should make a loud beep for a few seconds. If the beep sounds low, or the alarm starts chirping, install a fresh battery in the alarm. Repeat this process for all detectors in your household. You should change the batteries in your kitchen smoke detector and in heavily decorated rooms as a precaution.

3. Inspect your tree and decorations.

When choosing a Christmas tree, look for one with no brown needles. Shake the tree to see how many needles fall off. Brown needles indicate that the tree is dry which increases the fire hazard risk. While you're decorating your tree, carefully inspect your lights. First, check to make sure that your lights are UL tested. Look for frayed or damaged wires and burned out lights. Place your tree about three feet away from the wall and from furniture, curtains, lights, and the fireplace.

4. Be smart about heat.

You want to keep your home warm this winter, especially if you have family over. Your guests need to be as comfortable as possible while staying safe. The first thing you should check off your list is a safety inspection. Have a licensed professional inspect your heating system and fireplace. If your heating system runs on propane or fuel, only fill it with the fuel the manufacturer recommends. If you use space heaters, only use them when you're in the room. Turn off space heaters and electric blankets before going to bed.

These tips will keep your family safe this holiday season. When in doubt, ask a professional to inspect your home for possible hazards.