Follow These Tips for a Fire-Free Holiday Season
By Admin | November 23, 2022
The holidays are officially here! If you’re like a lot of Minnesota residents, the holiday season is a time for family, friendship, and giving. It’s a time to string up holiday lights in and around the house for all to see. Unfortunately, as much as we love the holiday season, it’s often marred by electrical fires causing millions of dollars in damage. According to the Red Cross, 47,000 fires occur across the country, costing more than 500 lives. Here in Minnesota, there were an estimated 3.9 deaths and 13.4 injuries for every 1,000 winter holiday fires in 2020.
Unsurprisingly, items like candles, Christmas trees, and holiday lights are the most significant cause of fire damage during the holidays. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a statistic. To protect you and your family, consider these tips to prevent fires while you’re enjoying the holiday season this year
1. Keep an Eye on Candles
Who doesn’t love to light holiday candles when Christmas time rolls around? Candles create a cozy, comfy ambiance, but when left unattended near garlands and other greenery, they become hazards. Keep a close eye on your candles this holiday season, and be sure young children don’t have access to them. Better yet, buy some battery-operated candles instead of using traditional ones. They often look more realistic and do not pose as much of a fire hazard, if any.
2. Use Updated Holiday Lights
Nothing says “it’s the holidays” quite like seeing merry and bright holiday lights hanging from homes. But if you’ve been using the same lights since Facebook became popular, it’s time to upgrade. Old lights have old cords, which often become cracked and torn. This presents a very serious fire hazard. It’s also a shock hazard. Instead of worrying about a fire, head to your local store and pick up LED lights. LEDs don’t produce the same heat as incandescent bulbs. Plus, newer cords don’t present as much of a fire danger, either.
UNGERMAN Pro Tip: When you’re stringing lights around your home, keep a close eye on how many lights you have plugged into a single power source. Having an overabundance of cords plugged into the same source or power strip is a recipe for disaster.
3. Don’t Fry Turkeys Inside
By now, you’ve probably heard all the hype surrounding fried turkeys and how delicious they are. As it turns out, the hype is true. They’re the epitome of “yum,” but if you’re going to fry one, don’t be dumb. Make sure you’re frying your turkey outside, not inside. Yes, we know it’s hard to stay outside during a cold Minnesota winter, but that’s where turkey fryers were meant to be used – outside. While you’re at it, don’t fry your turkey on or under your wooden deck or inside your garage. You’re just asking for a fire to start. Instead, keep an eye on the weather, so you don’t have to move your frying inside. Also, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely. If you must fry inside, use a fryer that is built for indoor frying!
4. Tend to Your Tree
Thinking about buying a real tree for Christmas this year? Of all the fire hazards on this list, using a real tree might be the biggest. That’s especially true if you buy an older tree or you let your tree dry out near a heat source. If you aren’t into fake trees, be sure to water your tree at least once a day. Twice, if it’s extra thirsty. Don’t place your tree near a fire or intense heat source. Above all else, keep a close watch on your tree, especially if you’ve got little ones running around.
UNGERMAN Pro Tip: Once you’re done enjoying your holiday tree, take it down ASAP. Most tree fires are started after Christmas is over because people get lazy and don’t feel like watering them. If this sounds like you, take it down once you open presents!
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