For many Atlanta residents, the holidays bring joyful memories and anticipation of carrying on family traditions. In addition to this, most look forward to decorating their homes with lights, inflatables, and other fun holiday decor. While these can add a touch of cheer to your home, they can also increase the risk of a fire. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 800 fires happen throughout the U.S. because of decorations added during the holiday season. To help you avoid this devastating experience and the need for fire damage restoration service, we’ve shared the safety tips below.
1. Don’t Leave Candles and Fires Alone
It’s estimated that candles cause over 15,000 house fires each year, all of which result in the need for disaster restoration services. If you’re going to light candles or even start a fire, someone must remain in the same room. Although it may seem unlikely, either of these can spark a fire in your home by just a small change in the air. If you’re going to be in and out of the house, go for LED candles for a safer alternative.
2. Don’t Overload Your Outlets
Whether you’re plugging in lights for your tree or outdoor decorations, you could easily cause your electrical outlets to overload. While this can sometimes cause the power to go out, it can also increase the risk of a fire. If you have a lot of things to plug in, then spread them out to the different outlets in your home to reduce the risk of overloading and causing a fire.
3. Set a Light Timer
Leaving indoor or outdoor lights/decorations on can eventually cause your outlet to overheat and spark a fire. To avoid this, we recommend setting up a light timer that will turn on and off after a specified amount of time.
4. Inspect Light Strands
When trimming your tree, check the light strands to make sure they are not broken or frayed. We urge you to throw away any that look unsafe, as these are most likely to cause a fire as they heat up when they’re plugged in.
5. Don’t Run Space Heaters Too Long
We know space heaters can be incredibly useful during the winter to help heat rooms quickly and effectively. However, these should only be used temporarily and never with an extension cord. In addition to this, they should be placed in an open area without any flammable items (including Christmas trees) close by. We also encourage you to make sure heaters are plugged into 20-amp outlets for the safest use possible.
6. Keep Real Trees Watered
Watering your Christmas tree is essential if you plan on purchasing a live one to place in your home. Although it may not seem like it will take a lot of water, we encourage you to water every day of the week. Even a small tree can become dry after three days without water, which can increase your risk of a fire and the need for disaster restoration services.
7. Change Batteries in Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
With more people in your home during the holidays, we recommend changing out the batteries to your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors before the season begins. This will ensure you are alerted in the event of an emergency and can get out of the house as soon as possible.
8. Use Appropriate Extension Cords
If you’re using extension cords, it’s critical that they are heavy-duty, grounded, and made for indoor/outdoor use depending on where you’ll be placing them. Avoid using those that are cheap and flimsy, as these can increase the risk of a fire.
9. Clean the Chimney
Each year, we recommend having your chimney cleaned out by a professional. This can get rid of soot and debris that can contribute to a house fire.
10. Use Decorations Appropriately
Pay attention to electrical decorations to make sure you use them appropriately. It’s especially important to avoid placing indoor decorations outdoors.
A Safe Home for the Holidays
With the tips above, you can create a safer home for the holidays. However, if you do experience a fire, we recommend calling our experienced Atlanta team for fire damage restoration service as soon as possible. This will help ensure your home is restored properly from start to finish.