Because we spend more time inside during winter, there is an increased chance of having a fire during the holiday season. It is easy to create a fire hazard without being aware of it.
Here are some common fire hazards in the home and steps to take to reduce the dangers:
- Poorly Maintained Furnace – Fan blades that are loose or out of alignment can strike the metal walls of the fan unit housing and cause sparks inside the furnace. Dirty furnaces and blocked air vents can create conditions for a furnace fire. Have the furnace cleaned and safety checked to avoid this danger.
- Natural Gas Leaks – Gas pipes contract and expand based on temperature changes. This can cause the gas connections to leak. Check gas connections with a solution of water and dish soap. Any leaks will create bubbles. Use Teflon tape for the connections and tighten them to be sure they are no longer leaking.
- Overloaded Electrical Sockets – Plugging too many electric-powered decorative items into a single socket causes a fire hazard. Use a heavy-duty electrical power strip instead.
- Dried-Out Holiday Trees – Cut holiday trees are a serious fire hazard when they get too dry. Keep them fresh by putting them in a water container or better yet, use a live tree to plant in the garden after the holidays are over.
- Candles – Scented candles are popular during the holidays. Scented plug-ins are safer and do not create a fire hazard that comes from candles knocked over by accident.
- Paper Decorations – Keep any paper decorations away from heat sources, such as space heaters or a fireplace.
- Smoke Detectors – Make sure to test smoke detectors for proper operation and replace old batteries with new ones.
- Kitchen Fires – Grease may catch fire while cooking. Have a refilled fire extinguisher in the kitchen for such an emergency.