How to Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays
The holidays are upon us and you’re all set to decorate your Austin home. While it’s easy to get caught up in decorating, cooking, baking and visiting with family and friends, it’s also easy to overlook things that can be dangerous if not checked, such as potential fire hazards and fire damage and even water damage Austin.
You don’t want any type of Texas fire damage to affect your home during this time of year. So, here are a few precautions that can help you have a safe holiday.
Preventing Kitchen Fires
If you’re planning on doing a lot of cooking for the holidays, you should always be focused on what’s on your stove. Never leave any pots or pans that are being used unattended. Keep any potentially flammable items away from the stove while you’re cooking, including paper products such as napkins and plates, wooden spoons, and fabric items such as dishtowels and potholders.
You should also stay alert while you’re cooking. A lack of sleep or too much eggnog can impair your ability to focus on your holiday dinner. Most holiday related fires are actually cooking related, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Preventing Fire Hazards While Decorating Your Austin Home
While it’s typically warm in Austin, it can get cold during the holidays. If this is the case, you should make sure that any holiday decorations are nowhere near a heat source. This includes gas and wood fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, and other appliances that can produce heat. Most decorations catch fire when they’re placed near a heat source, so use extreme caution.
Candles are a major cause of fires during the holidays. If you need to use candles as part of your decorations, then use flameless, battery operated ones instead of traditional candles. These offer the same decorative effect without the risk of fire. If you do use regular candles, make sure that they’re placed in secure holders, and keep them far from flammable items such as curtains or fabrics. Always make sure that you’re there when they’re being used - never leave them unattended.
Fire Hazards with Holiday Lights and Christmas Trees
Christmas trees have the potential to be extremely dangerous if not properly monitored. If you do get a cut Christmas tree, make sure it’s firmly mounted in a durable stand and placed far from any heat source, where it can dry out and potentially catch fire. Check your tree’s water levels daily and make sure that it has plenty of water. A dry Christmas tree can go up quickly, so make sure that there’s plenty of hydration.
If you already have holiday lights, plug them in to check that they’re in good condition and that they don’t heat up. Any faulty lights that don’t work, heat up, or have frayed cords should be discarded and replaced with new ones. You do not want to put damaged lights on your Christmas tree, as this can cause a fire. You should never leave your holiday and tree lights plugged in when you aren’t home or if you’re sleeping - always unplug them. As for your tree decorations, make sure that you use non-combustible and flame-resistant items to prevent fire damage.
If you have young children, safeguard your house and your decorations at least six inches out of their reach so that they can’t get to them.
It’s very important not to overload extension cords or power strips. Check the wattage of your extension cords and surge protectors before you start plugging several strips of lights into them. Any lights or extension cords that you plan on using should be UL listed.
If you do a fair share of outdoor decorating, use lights that are only designated for outdoor use, and if you do hang lights outdoors, use a wooden ladder to drastically reduce the likelihood of electric shock. You should also have someone assist you while you’re hanging lights outside, in the event that you should slip and fall - never do this alone.
Of course, the holidays are meant to be a fun time to get together with friends and family, but they should also be safe. Accidents and unexpected fires happen at an alarming rate every year during this time, so please take these precautions to ensure that you have a safe holiday.
SERVPRO Can Help With Your Holiday Safety Questions
SERVPRO of East Central Austin is locally-owned and specializes in water extraction Austin, water restoration Austin, mold inspections and mold remediation, fire damage, residential and commercial cleaning services, and more.
Give us a call if you find yourself in need of any ideas or suggestions on how to keep your home safe during the holidays.
Be safe and Happy Holidays!