The winter months from December to February make up the most fire-prone time of the year. Based on data from the National Fire Safety Association, 30% of home fires and 38% of deaths due to home fires occur during this period. This may be the most festive season of the year but make sure you watch out for the items in your home that can turn your holiday magic into a nightmare.
Ovens, Ranges And Cooking Appliances
The holiday season is the time when people visit their friends and family. These gatherings almost always involve food. For those who will be dealing with rotating between the stove and the sink, it is important to stay organized and focused to reduce the risk of fire. Do not leave wooden utensils and recipe books next to burners. Remember to use the timers to prevent the meals from burning, as well as smartphone alarms so you get reminded that something is cooking.
You will likely rely on your furnace this winter to keep your home warm. Have your furnace inspected by a professional for rusted parts, physical damage and loose connections that can lead to fire. Make sure that you avoid placing flammable and combustible materials near the furnace.
A recent survey showed that 86 percent of people in the United States decorate their homes for the holiday season. Of these, two-thirds use indoor Christmas lights and more than half string them outdoors.
Christmas trees in particular are a common source of home fires. Around 260 incidents occur in the United States each year, causing an average of 24 injuries, 12 deaths and more than $16 million in property damages.
Holiday lights and other lights used for decorative purposes are blamed for another 150 home fires annually, causing 16 injuries and 8 deaths per year.
Lights alone are not a fire hazard but overzealous decorators can put themselves in danger if they put too many lights on their Christmas tree. Overloading the extension cords and electrical sockets may raise the possibility of a short circuit. Short circuit can cause sparks that may land on a Christmas tree branch and potentially cause dangerous flames.
Replace old outlets that show signs of damage, particularly those you will use for the items you will heavily rely on this winter. If the outlets you intend to plug your Christmas lights into frequently spark, see to it that you have them checked by an experienced electrician. Contact us at J.M. Mullen Electric for an electrical inspection to safeguard yourself from fire hazards this holiday season.