According to the National Safety Council, fires started by Christmas trees and holiday lights damage more than 400 homes and cause more than 20 deaths each season. While fire danger may be more prevalent during the holidays, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk to you, your family, and your home.
According to the Red Cross, more candles start fires over the holidays than at any other time of year. Lit candles near trees, holiday decorations, and window curtains pose a major fire hazard. It’s easy for pets or children to knock a tree over or for an unstable tree to tip over on its own. If you have lit candles near your tree, invest in a good stand and make sure to extinguish all candles throughout your home before going to bed. A safer choice would be to use an electric substitute such as LED lights instead of live candles.
Flame retardant artificial Christmas trees are the most effective fire resistant trees and are an excellent alternative to live Christmas trees. They look real and require little maintenance, while a live tree can dry out and become combustible. If you or your family have a live tree, one with supple, flexible needles is desirable. Also, the NH injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman urge you to keep the tree watered while it is on display.
The second most likely place for fires to start over the holidays is the kitchen stove-top. According to the Red Cross, potholders, hand towels, wooden bowls, paper plates, paper bags, food boxes, and even nearby curtains have started on fire in the past. Removing combustible items from the stove-top eliminates the possibility of fire. Fires start in microwave ovens when metal objects are placed inside by mistake, even during defrosting. Check any food destined for the microwave for metal ties or skewers.
Inspect electrical cords
The National Safety Council and the Red Cross suggest that people inspect the Christmas lights, or other electrical decorations that go up around the house, for wear and tear. Repair frayed electrical wires, and if a repair is impossible, consider throwing the decoration away or displaying it without plugging it in. The adults in the household should take responsibility for extinguishing candles and turning off Christmas lights before going to bed.
Check smoke alarms
More importantly, smoke alarms are an effective weapon to fight holiday fires. With working smoke alarms, the chances of surviving a fire are greatly enhanced. With the increased incidence of home fires during this time of year, it is a good idea check smoke alarms and replace dead batteries. It is recommended to test smoke alarms once a month as a routine. Give yourself a holiday gift of a working smoke alarm.
Contact Experienced NH Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been injured through no fault of your own, contact the New Hampshire injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning and Zimmerman, PLLC. There are no up-front costs for our services. All personal injury and workers’ compensation cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that we are only paid for our services if we successfully recover damages from the responsible party. For a free consultation, call (603) 624-7200 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Content courtesy of Homestructions