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  • Writer's pictureJohn@LiteHouse

Holiday Safety Tips for Every Homeowner

Holiday fires injure up to 2,000 people each year and cause more than $ 500 million in damage. According to the U.S. Fire Admin (USFA), there are simple and life saving measures you can take for a safe and happy vacation. Following some of these precautions, people can reduce their chances of falling victim to a fire during the holidays.

Christmas Trees: When choosing a Christmas tree, make sure that the needles are green and difficult to pull out of the branches. The needles shouldn't break when the tree is freshly cut. The trunk of the tree should be sticky. Old trees can be identified by jumping up and down on the ground. If a lot of needles have fall, it means that the tree was cut a long time ago. This tree is dried up and may lead to a fire.

Do not place your tree near any source of heat, including a fireplace or heat register. The heat dries the tree and makes it easier to ignite with heat, flames or sparks. Don't install your live tree in your home too early or let it sit for more than two weeks. Always keep the tree filled with water. Never put branches or needles in a fireplace or wood stove. If the tree dries up, dispose of it immediately. The best way to dispose of your tree is to take it to a recycling center or to have it picked up by the municipal collection agency.

Festive Lighting: Examine string lights every year prior to installation for worn wires, gaps, isolation holes, broken or cracked electrical outlets, and excessive twist or wear. Only use lights that have been approved by a testing laboratory such as UL. Do not overload the sockets. Do not connect more than three cables unless instructions indicate it is safe to do so. Before connecting, use a wire harness to connect the wires from the lamps. Check the wiring regularly; It shouldn't feel hot.

Holiday decorations: use non-flammable decorations only. All coatings should be non-flammable or flame retardant and away from heat vents. Don't put wrapping paper in the oven. They can produce dangerous sparks, produce chemicals that build up in your home and cause an explosion. If you plan to use synthetic wood, make sure that it is flame retardant.

Candles: When using them, make sure they are in solid mounts and in a place where they cannot easily fall. Never leave the house with lit candles. Never put lit candles in a tree. Do not approach the Christmas tree with an open flame such as a lit candle, lighter, or match.

Finally, just like any other time of year, install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Test them every month and always keep them clean with new batteries. Know when and how to seek help. And don't forget to practice your home escape program.

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