We’ve covered the basics of fire safety, and the main fire hazards. Let’s look at a few other ways we can improve fire safety in our homes. Special precautions need to be taken during holiday seasons, as many traditions involve light and fire. A house fire is always a tragedy, but the tragedy is compounded when fire destroys a home during a holiday period, which should be a happy, festive occasion.
Losing your home to fire during Christmas or another holiday would be a terrible blow, and there’s no need for it to happen. You just need to be aware of the added fire safety risks, and use extra care to ensure that fire and lighting is handled properly. Christmas and other holidays are often the occasion for big family get-togethers. These are wonderful events which strengthen and renew our family ties, but the more people in your house, the bigger your risk of someone violating fire safety principles. You’ll want to remind people who smoke that they should never leave lighters or matches anywhere – they should either be in their hand or their pockets. It’s best to have a designated smoking room, and don’t allow smoking anywhere else.
Even better is to only allow smoking outside. You’ll have to make your own judgment as to what is the best policy for your home, but whatever you decide, make sure that people adhere to it. Often times, there will be a lot of cooking going on, and a lot of people in the kitchen helping. Make sure that everyone is cooking with care, and not being sloppy or creating fire hazards. You’ll also want to keep small children out of the kitchen while the cooking is being done. Not only is this much more efficient, it’s also much safer. The risk of fire is greatly reduced, and the risk of small children being accidentally burned is also reduced. Candles are another special concern during the holiday season. Never leave a candle burning overnight. They should all be put out before you go to bed. Keep them away from flammable material, and keep children away from the candles, too.
Tips for a Safe Christmas Season
Christmas trees and lights are also of particular concern when it comes to fire safety. Christmas tree fires move horrifically fast. A tree can become engulfed in flames in less than 5 seconds from initial contact with fire, and the entire room can be on fire in well under a minute. You can see why these are among the deadliest types of home fires, and you’ll want to make sure your Christmas tree is safe.
The best way to prevent Christmas tree fires, of course, is to have an artificial tree; they’re not flammable. But for many people, it just wouldn’t be a real Christmas with an artificial tree – it’s been a family tradition to go pick out a live tree, and bring it home. For some, the scent of the evergreen adds to the holiday atmosphere too. That’s understandable, and there’s no need to have an artificial tree if you’re careful about fire hazards with your real tree. If you prefer a real tree, then make sure you keep it well-watered. The drying out process is what really increases the susceptibility of Christmas trees to fire. Add water every day, and keep an eye on the water levels. In addition, if you use lights on your Christmas tree, make sure that you turn them off before going to bed. That will greatly reduce the risk of fire, especially at the most vulnerable time – when everyone’s asleep. Make sure the bulbs and wires of your tree lights are in good working order. If not, don’t use them.
Also, make sure that you don’t have too many lights drawing power from the same outlet. Both of these rules also apply to any outdoor lighting you might be using. Beautiful house and yard lighting displays are a tradition in America, and usually they’re very safe. But if not done properly, they can be hazardous. So play it safe. Check all bulbs and cords for wear and damage, and don’t overload circuits. Again, just as with candles and trees, it’s best to turn off the displays before retiring at night.
SHORTCUTS TO FIRE SAFETY ARTICLES:
Fire Safety and Electrical Appliances
Basic Smoke Detector Information
Types of Smoke Detectors
Basic Fire Extinguisher Information
Causes of Fires
Tips for Safe Use of Lighters and Matches
Explaining Fire Safety Rules to Children
The Importance of Fire Drills and Escape Plans
Kitchen Fire Prevention
Bedroom Fire Safety
Fire Safety Tips
Fireplace and Chimney Safety
Holiday Safety Tips
Miscellaneous Fire Safety Tips
EMT Test Practice Questions