The holiday season is a magical time of year. Between the incredible lights and decorations, the fun-filled parties, the seasonal entertainment options and more, you may love this time of year.
However, some risks, such as the possibility of injuries related to home fires, increase substantially during this season. In order to stay as safe as possible, use some of the following tips to avoid the hazards and risks that are increasingly common throughout the holiday season.
In the Kitchen
You may spend more time in the kitchen during this season because you are baking goodies or preparing special meals for friends and family. However, home fires are increasingly common when you use this space more frequently.
If you want to stay as safe as possible in the kitchen, minimize distractions while you are cooking. Be aware of all potential fire and burning hazards and ensure that you have a functional fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen and that your smoke detectors are in working order. Take the additional step of cleaning up your space after each cooking session in order to reduce the risk of grease fires and other issues.
You should also set a timer each time you place something on the stove or in the oven. Be aware of the proximity of pot holders, waste and other items in relation to the flame or heat of your stove. Get into the habit of making sure that your burners and oven are turned off before you leave the house and before you go to bed each evening.
In Front of a Fireplace
The warmth and coziness of a fireplace during the winter season can be delightful. The fireplace may be a prime gathering place for family and friends, and many great memories can be enjoyed in this area.
However, fireplaces are also a common location where house fires start. This may be related to sparks flying out of the fireplace and landing on flammable objects, such as carpeting or the Christmas tree. It may also be related to creosote and other flammable elements building up inside of your chimney.
You understandably want to avoid the injury risks and property damage associated with house fires. Only burn untreated wood in the fireplace, and always use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from flying out onto flammable objects. When possible, keep objects away from the fireplace. You also should schedule a regular chimney sweeping session to remove flammable items that may have built up in your chimney over time.
Underneath a Christmas Tree
The holidays are simply not as festive and fun without the beauty and cheer of a Christmas tree in your home. When selecting a Christmas tree, choose a reusable tree that is made out of fire-resistant materials. If possible, avoid lighting candles on or near your tree. Instead, consider using LED lights as these are more energy-efficient and emit less heat.
When you are preparing to decorate your tree, review the condition of all lights and wires. Pay close attention to your electrical wiring and sockets and avoid using any items that have a frayed cord or other signs of damage. Any sign of an electrical issue should be examined by an electrician. Rather than overloading a single power outlet close to the tree, consider using an extension cord to spread the burden of electrical consumption across multiple outlets.
Christmas lights inside and outside of the house should be turned off before you go to bed and before you leave the house. You can use a timer to better control this if you are often forgetful.
It important to understand the many potential risks that your home and your loved ones face throughout the holiday season. Each of the risk factors described here could have damaging consequences at any time. Now that you are more aware of seasonal risks, you can take steps to prevent related property damage, injuries and more.
Jeff E. Brown is a freelance writer, self-taught lifehacking teacher, DIY home improvement specialist, owner of two happy dogs and a barbeque master. He loves learning through experience and writing about all the cool things he has learned since he moved out of a compact apartment into a comfortable house. You can reach Jeff via his landing page.