Deck The Halls -Holiday SafetyDecember 22, 2017
You’ve made your list, checked it twice, checked it again, and maybe even made another list to compile your lists. This is a time of year what we like to refer to as The Holidays.
Some of us have started prepping in July, stood in line and braved the freezing cold New England morning on Black Friday, and had those Christmas lights up before you even cleared the Thanksgiving table; while others are checking mall store hours the night before, wondering if you can really just buy gift cards for everyone, and thinking of ways to avoid your in laws staying at your house. Regardless of your preferred plan of attack on flawlessly executing one of the biggest celebrations of the year, we all have one major checkpoint we often forget to review: Holiday Home Safety.
Great- one more thing to think about! Before you panic, know that a little bit of preparedness goes a long way. It’s a sobering thought that so many of us are so busy during this time that sometimes the single most important factors in keeping our family and homes safe this time of year are often overlooked. According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) between 2009-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 210 home fires that started with Christmas trees, per year, and U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 860 home structure fire per year that began with decorations only, excluding Christmas trees.
So what does this mean? We all have to throw away the lights and find ourselves a nice Philodendron to put our gifts under this year??! Not exactly. Thanks to our friends at both FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the USFA (U.S. Fire Administration) they’ve taken the guesswork out of how to prepare your home for a disaster free holiday with this straightforward list of tips and tricks:
- Inspect holiday lights each year before you put them up. Throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires.
- Water your Christmas tree every day. A dry tree is dangerous because it can catch on fire easily.
- Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
- If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be knocked down easily.
In addition, consider switching to LED lights. LED Christmas lights use light emitting diodes, as opposed to filament. This makes LED lights not only less likely to burn out (score!) but cool to the touch, making these lights a safer option. Initial cost is relatively higher than traditional lights, however last more than twice as long making them a great investment and incorporation into your new Holiday Home Safety regimen.
We can’t help you with avoiding your in-laws this December, but by following these key recommendations we can all work towards a safer holiday season without injury, emergency, or displacement from your home. Accidents can happen and if a fire does occur at your home or business, call Pro-Care, Inc. for fire damage clean up and reconstruction, smoke damage repair, and water damage repair. We’ve proudly been restoring homes, businesses, and lives since 1987 and with locations in both Woburn & Hopedale, MA, and Hudson, NH we are only a call away on our 24/7 emergency line, 800-660-1973.