The Paoli Fire Company would like to wish everyone a very Happy and safe
Holiday season, and would like to give some reminders on how to keep your family
safe during this season.
Home Heating Safety It’s no surprise that home heating
fires peak during the winter months.2With increased fireplace use,
chimney fires are a greater risk, as are fires caused by errant sparks. Take a
minute for safety today and call to have your chimney inspected and cleaned. The
Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends cleaning once a year to reduce
the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning due to creosote build-up or
obstructions in the chimney. Also, always use a fireplace screen to prevent
sparks from getting out of the fireplace. Never burn wrapping paper in the
fireplace as it can cause an intense burst of heat that can lead to a fire.In
addition to fireplaces causing unintentional fires, space heaters are involved
in a large number of home fires. In fact, space heaters are responsible for the
majority of fatal home heating fires.3 The most common cause of a
space heater fire is leaving it too close to something that can burn such as a
blanket or curtains. Space heaters should be positioned at least three feet away
from objects and placed on a firm surface to prevent tipping. Never leave a
space heater unattended and always shut them off before going to bed. Objects
such as coats and mittens should never be placed on a space heater to dry. Click
here for more on space heater safety.
- Candle Safety Another common cause of fire during the
holidays is candles. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,
candles account for more than 12,000 fires annually.4 If you decide
to use candles in your holiday decorations, always blow them out before you
leave the room. Curious children are fascinated by fire, so be sure to store
matches and lighters out of your children’s reach. Teach your kids that if they
see an unattended, lit candle they should always tell you. Your kids can take a
part keeping your home safe for the holidays.
- Cooking Safety During the holidays, more home fires start
in the kitchen than in any other room in the house. It’s not surprising,
therefore, that more kitchen fires start on Thanksgiving than on any other day
during the year.5 The best way to stop a cooking fire before it
starts is easy – cooks need to stay in the kitchen. You should never leave a
cooking pot or oven unattended, even for just a minute. Designate the area
around the stove as “kid free” and be sure to keep dishtowels and other things
that can burn well away from the stove. When cooking, it’s also a good idea to
turn the handles of pots inward in case small kids do enter the kid-free zone
and reach for the handles. Do not pour water on a grease fire. Do not
try to hold your child in one arm while cooking with the other. Keep the
cooking range free of clutter. Avoid using a turkey fryer. Always keep a
potholder, oven mitt and lid handy while cooking. Never wear loose fitting
clothing when cooking.
- Water, water, water your tree.
Dry trees pose a fire
risk – make a fresh cut on the base before putting your tree into a sturdy
stand, and water frequently.
- Check your lights, check them twice.
Inspect all of your
electric lights and decorations for damage or wear. Cracked sockets, frayed or
bare wires and loose connections may pose a fire or shock hazard.
- Plan your fire escape.
Use the holidays as a good time
to practice a fire escape plan with your loved ones. Identify at least two exits
from every room in the house.
- Sleep safe: Install carbon monoxide alarms.
Be sure that
at least one carbon monoxide alarm is installed on each floor of your home, and
always close to sleeping areas.
- Be flame aware.
Always blow out unattended candles and
teach your children to stay away from lit candles or fireplaces.
- Give wrapping paper a second life.
Don’t burn used
wrapping paper as it may cause intense flash fires. And throwing it out adds
waste. Consider recycling or repurposing it instead.
- Check extension cords.
Do not connect more than three
miniature light strings together. Also, be sure to check the rating on your
extension cords and do not plug in more than the recommended wattage.
- Steer your tree clear.
Your tree should be positioned at
least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. It
should also not block any doorways or exits.
- Decorate with a safe eye.
Cords should not be run under
carpets or tacked-up with metal nails or staples. Small decorations can be
choking hazards so keep them out of the reach of toddlers.
- Look for UL.
The UL mark on a product means that samples
of that product have been tested to the highest safety standards. Make sure to
look for it to help keep your holidays safe and bright.
For more information please check UL webaddress: http://www.safetyathome.com/seasonal-safety/holiday-safety-articles/?gclid=CPjOpaqu4LMCFYtQOgodHhMABw