And just like that, the holidays are upon us. Every year, they arrive more and more quickly- Halloween is gone, here comes Thanksgiving, and before we know it, it will be Christmas day. And in among the hustle and bustle, the family and friends, and the cooking and eating, believe it or not, the possibility exists for a property fire. I know what you’re thinking- “Fire? I definitely don’t have time for a fire, and I can’t imagine that it would ever happen anyway.” Well, let’s do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t.
Holiday Fire Prevention:
There are six main causes of property fires, and thus, six main areas of fire prevention. The following are tips in each of the six areas that will, hopefully, keep fire from getting out of control in your home or business this holiday season.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
- Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of 3 feet around the stove.
- Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Smoke outside and completely stub out butts in an ashtray or a can filled with sand.
- Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
- Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
- Be alert – don’t smoke in bed! If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out before getting into bed.
Electrical and Appliance Safety
- Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
- If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
- Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.
Portable Space Heaters
- Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
- Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
- Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.
Fireplaces and Woodstoves
- Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
- Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
- Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
- Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
- Store matches and lighters out of children’s reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.
We hope that the above fire prevention tips help to keep fire burning only where it should this holiday season, like the warm and inviting fireplace in your home. But if disaster strikes and a fire is burning out of control, please first contact your local fire department. Then, once the fire is out, contact the professionals at Joe Taylor Restoration. We are ready to respond to your fire emergency within 2 hours of your call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We understand the need for quick response when it comes to fire, smoke, soot, and even water damage related to a fire and putting it out. Our technicians will utilize the latest technology to assess the damage, appropriate to the kind of fire that occurred, and get to work immediately on the fire damage restoration process. We will see to it that your property is restored, returning your holiday season to one that is fire damage and trouble free.