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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Celebrate in Safety: Enjoy the Holidays While Avoiding Fire Risks and Fire Damage

10/11/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Carrollton highlights fire prevention projects homeowners can undertake to avoid a fire damage disaster during the holiday season.

SERVPRO® of Carrollton is sharing fire prevention projects to avoid fire damage this upcoming holiday season. Gatherings with friends and family during the holiday season bring excitement and joy. The seasonal lights, wonderful food, amazing desserts, and football make for a winning combination. These festive holiday activities are often fraught with many fire hazards. The frequency of residential fires skyrockets during the colder months of the holiday season. The primary causes of these housefires are associated with cooking activities, efforts to stay warm, and electrical malfunctions.

A house fire can disrupt family gatherings and joyful holiday celebrations. By taking precautionary safety measures, the homeowner can ensure the health and well-being of the home, family, and guests. Listed below are some seasonal fire prevention projects to keep the holidays safe.

Project #1: Practice Careful Cooking

Almost half of all reported home fires start at the stove and involve cooking. Practice principles of careful cooking to stay safe. Stay vigilant. It is so easy and understandable to get sidetracked. Be aware of these common distractions and fire hazards in the kitchen.

  • Too many dishes cooking at the same time, all of which require close attention
  • Too many cooks in the kitchen resulting in a pan or dish being neglected because someone thought another person was managing the dish
  • A misstep in setting a timer, cooking at the wrong temperature, or turning on the wrong burner
  • Distractions such as phone calls, guests dropping in unexpectedly, a crying child, a game-winning play on the big screen in the next room that empties the kitchen of cooks
  • Spillage of flammable cooking items such as oils, wine, liquors, Sterno, flour, or other powdery cooking ingredients
  • Combustion of paper products, towels, or clothing left too close to burners

On Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, the incidents of reported house fires increase dramatically. Listed below are a few tips to keep the kitchen safe and free from fire damage.

  1. Stay by the stove when a meal is cooking. Unattended items cooking on the stove are a primary cause of house fires.
  2. Keep the pan lids nearby in case there is a flare-up. The pan can be covered and safely removed from the hot eye. Do not throw water on a burning pan.
  3. When food preparation concludes, turn off the burners and remove the pans from the burners. The burners may remain hot for a while and burn the item being cooked, resulting in a pan-fire.
  4. Make sure smoke alarms and CO detectors are less than ten years old and are operating with fresh batteries.
  5. Have an approved, fully charged fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Alert the other cooks to the location of the extinguisher and provide a refresher lesson on how to use the device.

Project #2: Decorate with Discernment

Seasonal decorations create ambiance, set the mood, and add excitement to the holiday experience. Dazzling light displays inside and outside the home create rich childhood memories. Here are some helpful tips to keep the decorating project free of fire hazards.

Inspect all lights and cords. Discard damaged cords, lights, and fixtures. Indoor lights should be hung using safe, plastic, non-conductive clips. Nails can damage cords and cause fires. Outdoor lights should never be displayed indoors, and indoor lights should never be used outdoors.

Be careful with candles. Although candles are perfect for a wonderful visual and fragrant atmosphere, candles are also a leading cause of house fires throughout the holidays. Keep candles out of reach of small children. It only takes a second or two to extinguish a candle upon leaving the room or going to bed. It also only takes a moment for an ill-placed or overturned candle to start a house fire.

One spark can transform a twinkling Christmas tree into a raging inferno that can cause extensive fire and smoke damage throughout the home. Keep Christmas trees, poinsettias, and other seasonal plants three or more feet away from any heat source.  When leaving the house or going to sleep, turn off the decorative lighting. Water live trees daily. At the end of the holiday season or when the tree becomes dry and brittle, immediately discard it far away from any structure or take it to the recycling center.

LED lighting technology has given new life to outdoor holiday lighting. Highly efficient bulbs burn at much lower temperatures, and the low voltage makes the devices much safer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Be sure to inspect light strings before installation and use extension cords rated for outdoor use. Keep electrical cords away from standing water.

Project #3: Keep the Fire in the Fire Pit

The recent pandemic has popularized outdoor fireplaces and fire pits. Exercise extreme caution around these warm and inviting fixtures. Keep the fire pit at least 10 feet away from any structure. Keep lighters and matches away from children. Never leave a lit fire pit or fireplace unattended. Keep a bucket of water, garden hose, or fire extinguisher nearby in case the flames get out of control.

The team at SERVPRO® of Carrollton is available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays. They can respond to the scene of the disaster in about an hour to begin providing fire damage cleanup and restoration services. Consider pre-qualifying SERVPRO as the dedicated property damage service provider before the lights go up and the guests arrive this holiday season.

For more information about fire damage restoration services, email SERVPRO of Carrollton at office@SERVPRO10952.com or call (972) 446-0383.

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