How to Avoid Christmas Fires

December 4, 2012 in General

With Christmas around the corner, many people have already put up their Christmas decorations. The holiday lights make the place look festive and welcoming, and Christmas wouldn’t be quite the same without a Christmas tree. Unfortunately, things can go wrong. So here’s how to avoid Christmas Fires…

1. Maintain your lights
Every year before putting up the Christmas lights, check them thoroughly and make sure there are no frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, excessive kinking in the wires or general wear and tear. If you see any of these, throw the lights away. Damaged electrical wires can overheat or short-circuit, causing excessive heat or sparks that start fires.

2. Do not overload Electrical Sockets
Avoid plugging in too many appliances or electrical Christmas decorations into the same wall socket or extension. Where possible, use different wall sockets. Check the wires and extension plugs every so often – they should not be warm to the touch. Avoid running wires underneath carpets, as they can get damaged and overheat as people step on them.

3. Avoid leaving the lights on at night or when you go out
Turn off all lights, candles, fires, etc when you leave the house or when going to bed.

4. Non-flammable decorations
All decorations should ideally be non-flammable or flame retardant and placed away from heat vents or heat sources.

5. Don’t block exits
Ensure that trees and other holiday decorations do not block an exit way. In the event of a fire, time is of the essence. A blocked entry/exit puts you and your family at risk.

6. Avoid using lit candles
Consider using battery-operated flameless candles. They can look, smell and feel like real candles.

7. If you do use lit candles
Make sure the candles are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. Never leave a room or go to bed with candles burning.

8. Never put lit candles on a tree
Do not go near a Christmas tree with an open flame – for example, candles, lighters or matches.