Winter time is holiday – and that means of lots of cooking, lots of entertaining, and unfortunately, lots of opportunities for home fires to occur. The Division of State Fire Marshal urges families to pay particular attention to fire safety during the holiday season.
As of November 1, 2016, there was 85 fire-related deaths in Ohio. In 2015, there was a total of 122.
During the Christmas and holiday season, it is fun to decorate for the winter holidays, but holiday decorations can increase your risk for a home fire. Use electricity safety to avoid the following common causes of electrical fires:
- Overloaded outlets
- Misuse of extension cords
- Not turning off lights and decorations before going to bed or leaving the home
- Old or worn holiday lights
- Old or worn out appliances and electrical cords
Decoration Fire Safety Tips
- When purchasing an artificial tree, look for a “Fire Resistant” label.
- If you have a metallic tree, never use electric lights on it. You could be electrocuted.
- When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. Make sure the needles are soft and are not falling off. Hard, brittle needles are signs of a dry tree, which can easily catch fire.
- Keep your live tree a safe distance from heat sources.
- Live trees need water, and lots of it. Cut about one inch off the bottom of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. Add water and check the tree daily.
- Do not block your exit door with your tree.
- Remove live trees from your home as soon as possible. Most Christmas tree fires occur on or after New Year’s Day.
- Check each light set for damaged sockets or wires. Discard light sets and extension cords that are worn or cracked.
- Use UL approved light sets. Follow the manufacturer recommendations concerning the maximum number of light sets that can be connected together.
- Replace burnt out bulbs with bulbs of the same wattage as indicated on the tag attached to the light set.
- Turn off all lights before you go to bed or leave the home.
- Use only light sets and extension cords marked “For Outdoor Use” outside your home.
- Fasten outdoor lights securely with insulated clips or hooks. Use circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
For the greatest protection, install a smoke alarm on every level of your home and inside each sleeping area.