Our Top 5 Holiday Dallas Home Safety Tips
While you and your loved ones are ready to relax and take a break for the holidays, home safety should never fall to the wayside, despite the festivities. Did you know that the holiday season is when most house fires occur? Slips and falls from snow and ice are also common. And are you hanging up Christmas lights? Prepare to take a trip to the ER if you aren’t careful. Below are our top five holiday home safety tips. Follow the steps below to ensure that you and your family stay safe while you enjoy the winter wonderland.
1. Lit Candles Holiday Safety Tips
Candles may light up your Dallas home with beautiful holiday ambiance. Fragrant candles can also make the rooms smell like Christmas. But they are dangerous, especially when left unattended or without adequate clearance. Candle fires are four times more likely to occur in December than at any other time of year. One easy way to reduce the risk of fires from candle flames is to give the candle at least three feet of clearance from anything that could be flammable.
Always place the candle on a sturdy surface. Consider covering them with a hurricane globe for increased safety. Whatever you do, do not leave the candle unattended. Children and pets can easily knock a lit candle over and start a house fire.
Now that you know the statistics and risks regarding candle fires, it might seem like using traditional candles to make your home a cozy winter retreat isn’t worth it. Fear not, there are ways to get that beautiful glow without risking a fire. Consider using safe LED candles instead. You can find a variety of different sizes, colors, and styles. If you miss the scent of a lit candle during the holidays, you can purchase fragrant and safe wall plugins to use instead.
2. Cooking and Kitchen Holiday Safety Tips
What would the holidays be without delicious, home-cooked food that you usually don’t get to enjoy the rest of the year? Unfortunately, house fires during the holidays often occur in the kitchen, for many reasons. On top of that, kitchen holiday safety issues can lead to burns and hot grease spills that can send someone to the ER. People get distracted and can leave the burners on, or forget a boiling pot on the stove. Incorrect use of a deep fryer is another holiday safety hazard.
So what can you do to keep everyone safe from fires, spills, and burns?
- Do not place anything flammable near the stove, like mittens and wooden spoons
- Be sure to turn pot and panhandles away from the edge of the oven so no one can knock them over
- Use a timer or alarm, so you don’t forget that something is cooking while you socialize
For added safety and security, make sure you have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Check and make sure your smoke detectors are all working, too.
3. Christmas Tree Holiday Safety Tips
Christmas trees are pine trees, and pine is used to make turpentine, an extremely flammable substance. If a Christmas tree catches fire, it is practically explosive. If you are going to purchase a live tree, you’ll want to make sure the plant is as fresh and moist as possible. Also, make sure the needles are intact. A freshly cut trunk will also keep the tree hydrated so it won’t be such a tinderbox. And never place the tree near a fireplace, candles, or radiators.
Learn more about fireplace safety before the holidays!
The air inside the home will mostly turn dry and full of static during the holiday season. This is a recipe for a dry tree that can easily catch fire from the tiniest spark. Be sure to refill the tree’s water supply often, and keep it well-watered during the holidays. But even a fresh and hydrated tree will dry out significantly within a month of being inside a dry, warm house. Discard the tree soon after the holidays to reduce the risk of fire. Are you using an artificial tree? Just make sure the model you choose if fire-resistant. A pre-lit, artificial tree should have a UL rating for safety.
4. Holiday Lights Safety Tips
Are you planning to hang up strings of colored lights for the holidays? Be sure to inspect each light and strand for any damage. Broken sockets on the light strings, or frayed and cracked electrical cords are a fire hazard just waiting for ignition. Never run more than three light strings end-to-end. If you’re using extension cords for the lights, check to see if they are for indoor or outdoor use, and use accordingly. Don’t string together several extension cords. It’s a fire and safety hazard. Hanging lights outside? Use a UL-rated hanger or clip instead of nails or staples.
While the holiday lights may bring a bit of cheer to you during the dreary winter season, try to resist leaving them for months on end. Rodents and pests will chew through the cords, and the elements will damage the lights too. Outdoor lights should be put away within three months.
5. Evacuation Plans
No one wants to think about a fire breaking out in their Dallas home. But to ensure the safety of your family, it’s best to come up with an evacuation plan. Making sure that everyone knows how to exit the house safely and quickly in the event of a house fire will prevent a tragedy from occurring. Develop a strategy for evacuating the home, and practice a few times before the holidays become far too busy.
Dallas Holiday Safety Tips: A Takeaway Message
Despite our best efforts and plans, accidents can and often do happen. Unfortunately, 780 homes in the U.S. this year will suffer from smoke and fire damage. Has your Dallas home been damaged from a fire? Our restoration experts at SERVPRO North Irving can help with Dallas fire damage restoration.