Christmas is a high risk period for fire outbreak in the home. Here are some tips to keep your family safe during the holidays.
The most important thing to do is install a smoke alarm in your home if you haven't already done so.
Most fires happen at night when people are asleep. Smoke, not flames, causes the majority of fire deaths and the smoke given off by some furnishing materials becomes toxic in the air and can kill very quickly. Also, smoke does not wake people. It actually puts them into a deeper sleep. A working smoke alarm reduces the risk of death in a fire by nearly 50%.
Place real Christmas trees securely in a sturdy base filled with water - metal stands cause trees to dry out and become flammable. Check the water level daily. If choosing an artificial tree, make sure it has been pre-treated to increase flame resistance. Keep the tree away from candles, heaters, fire places or other heat sources. Dispose of the tree properly. Never burn a real tree in the fire place.
Indoors: Only buy Christmas lights marked with a safety standard. Check all connections on Christmas lights, and ensure that all electrical work (plugs, etc) are carried out by a competent person. If you are using lights from previous years examine the wiring to ensure they are not worn. If in doubt throw them out. Don't overload sockets. Unplug all Christmas lights and electrical appliances before leaving your home or going to bed at night.
Outdoors: If using lights outdoors ensure they are suitable for outdoor use. If reusing outdoor lights check all wiring and throw them out if worn. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing outdoor lights. Fasten the bulbs securely and point the sockets down to avoid moisture build up. Never use indoor extension leads outside. Keep outdoor electrical connections above ground and out of puddles and snow. If you have to replace a light bulb unplug the light string beforehand. Ensure trees hung with Christmas lights are not touching power lines.
Remember when it comes to candles:
Other Christmas Fire Safety Tips
Great Christmas Gift Ideas!
Give someone you care about a "safety kit" comprised of the items listed below. (Help install items if giving them to an older person.)
A complete kit made up of all of these items would cost from $100.00 to $140.00, depending on your selections.