We all hear the stories about folks who suffer injuries and property damage during the holiday season. It’s undoubtedly the worst time of the year for accidents to happen, especially accidents that could have been prevented by following some logical safety tips that are offered every year as a result of accidents that took place during the prior year’s holidays.
1. Inspect instead of Expect
Always inspect electrical decorations (even new ones) for damage before you plug them into an electrical outlet. Cracked, damaged, or loose connections can easily start a fire or cause a dangerous shock.
2. Never Overload
A common cause of holiday electrical fires typically results from overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wires. Never plug more than one high-wattage appliance or decoration into an outlet.
3. Stringing Lights Together
Stringing more than three strands of lights together may cause a tripped breaker and can also lead to a fire, especially if the lights are more than a few years old.
4. Keep Trees Fresh and Green
Dried out Christmas trees is a fire waiting to happen. Keep them watered and fresh.
5. Use Batteries
Use only battery-operated candles. The NFPA reports that lit candles start almost half of home decoration fires each year.
6. Keep Combustibles Away from Heat Sources
Always keep combustibles several feet from a heat source. Combustibles too close to a heat source represent a large portion of holiday house fires according to the NFPA.
7. Protect Power Cords
Power cords should never be pinched by doors, furniture, or windows, or placed under rugs. Never have them near a heat source and never attach them with nails or staples.
8. Check Decorations for the UL Label
Never use decorations or lights that are not tagged with UL, CSA, or ETL label. These labels represent the products have been tested for safety.
9. Stay in the Kitchen While Cooking
Leaving the kitchen while cooking can lead to kitchen fires. The NFPA reports that unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home cooking fires,
10. Turn Off and Unplug
Always turn off, unplug, and extinguish holiday decorations before going to bed or leaving your home. The NFPA estimates that half of all home fire deaths typically occur between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am.
Unfortunately, it’s the simple things that can lead to a holiday nightmare for family and friends. You can prevent a terrible accident simply by reading this list and keeping your eyes and ears open. Your team at New England Insurance wish you a very happy and SAFE Holiday Season!