Preventing Home Fires During the Holidays

fire alarm systems Bucks County

Here’s a really unpleasant bit of holiday trivia: There are more open-flame fires on Christmas Day than on an average day.

Worse still, those fires cause 34 percent more property loss and nearly 70 percent more fatalities, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), which is a division of FEMA.

We aren’t telling you this put a damper on your holiday spirits. But when you’re in the business of Bucks County fire alarm systems, this is the type of thing you think about.

Here are a few ways you can keep your home and your loved ones safe during the holidays.

1. Fireplaces

Your kids might have visions about Santa coming down the chimney, but our years in the world of Bucks County fire alarm systems has taught us that homeowners need to pay attention to the inside of their chimney long before Christmas Eve.

Have your chimney inspected and cleaned to prevent creosote buildup and screen the fireplace to keep embers from touching your floor or furniture. Avoid using flammable liquids to light fires, and only burn wood, no wrapping paper.

2. Christmas trees

A dry Christmas tree can go up in flames in seconds. Choose a tree with fresh, green needles, and add water to the tree each day.

Keep the tree at least three feet away from heat sources such as radiators, fireplaces, heat vents and lights and make sure it doesn’t block any exits.

When you put lights on the tree, make sure they’ve been tested by an independent lab and that they are designed for indoor use (some lights are designed only for outdoor decoration). Never use lit candles as a tree decoration and be sure to turn the lights off before bed.

Once Christmas is over, don’t leave the tree up too long. No matter how much watering you do, the tree will eventually dry out. Find a place in your community that will recycle it.

3. Lights and candles

Before hanging up lights – either on your tree or outdoors – inspect their strings and get rid of any that have cracked/frayed wires or broken sockets. Avoid using staples or nails to hang outdoor lights, as this can damage the wiring and increase your chances of a fire. Use UL-rated clips or hangers instead.

And even though hanging lights can be a chore, don’t leave them up for long. The longer they stay up, the greater the chance they’ll be damaged by storms or chewed by squirrels.

Be careful with candles as well. Four of the five most dangerous days for candle-related fires all happen during the holidays: Christmas Day and Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve. (Rounding out that list is another holiday, Halloween.)

Keep candles at least a foot away from anything that can burn, rest them on a sturdy base and never leave them unattended (that means blowing them out before bed).

4. Cooking

According to the USFA, cooking is the chief cause of holiday-related fires, typically the result of food left unattended. Make sure you don’t leave things like pot holders resting on burners, have an all-purpose fire extinguisher on hand, and make sure your smoke alarms are working.

Why Bucks County fire alarm systems are important

Fire prevention is important year round, but never more so than during the holidays. Fires can break out at any time, due to candles, heating equipment or a cooking mishap.

When they need fire alarm systems, Bucks County residents and business owners have for years relied on Holicong Security. We understand how important it is to protect your property and your loved ones, which is why we offer high-quality fire detection solutions to make your environment safer.

Contact us today to learn more. We look forward to helping protect your family this holiday season.

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