Holiday Fire Safety

With COVID on the move this holiday season, things will certainly be different as we close out the year. With family gatherings either limited or not in the cards at all, people will inevitably be looking for other ways to spread some holiday cheer. That could include louder light displays, more grandiose Christmas trees, etc.

However you decide to celebrate, it’s important to make sure you’re being safe. Unfortunately, when it comes to the holidays – there are lots of potential fire safety issues – and every year, we like to remind you all of some of the things you should be thinking of. It’s bad enough that we can’t get together with family, it’d be even worse if an accident happened due to a fire.

That being said, here are some holiday fire safety tips for you to keep in mind this season so that everyone can stay as safe as possible. Let’s jump right in!

Christmas Trees

The good news is that Christmas tree fires aren’t widespread, but when they do occur, they take an awful lot along with them. About 200 Christmas tree fires happen nationally each year – but of those 200, there were 6 deaths, 16 injuries, and $14.8 million in property damage. So while it’s a long shot, you still need to be mindful. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re on the lookout for the perfect tree:

  • If you choose a live tree – make sure it’s healthy and fresh. If the tree seems even a little dried out, pass on it. The dryer a tree is – the more likely it can catch fire. 
  • Before you put it in your stand, cut two inches off the bottom. This will help it absorb and maintain its health longer, thus minimizing the risk of a fire. Also – be conscious of where you’re positioning the tree as well. Try to keep it away from places like a fireplace, radiator, candles, lamps, and other potential heat sources. Make sure your stand always has water in it.
  • Check your lights. Make sure there aren’t loose bulbs, frayed wires, and above all else – make sure the bulbs are UL-listed for tree and indoor use. And always, always turn off the lights before you go to bed. 
  • Throw away the tree when you’re done. Having a dry tree with dry wood is rarely a good thing to have on your property. Most towns have a disposal service, so take advantage of it.

Holiday Decorations

This is a big one. There are nearly 1,000 fires every year due to holiday decorations. Like Christmas trees – there aren’t a ton of these fires – but the fires that do occur are devastating. Whenever it comes to your decorations and yard displays, keep the following in mind:

  • Always choose decorations that are flame retardant or resistant. And when you place them indoors, keep them away from heat sources. If they’re outdoor decorations, make sure they’re not all drawing power from the same outlet or source. Spread them out!
  • Also, check your light strands, particularly for outdoor usage. If you read the box they come on; they’ll tell you whether they’re suited for outdoor usage or not. It’s also doubly important to make sure there aren’t any exposed wires, fraying or loose bulbs. Especially if you’re playing around in the snow, this can cause you to get electrocuted, can cause fires or power outages. Make sure everything is in good, working order.

This holiday season hasn’t and won’t be easy or normal for anyone, but being more mindful of these potential hazards will most definitely make sure that it doesn’t get any worse. It’s been a tough year for all of us, and we’re all eager to partake in a little extra holiday cheer. Just be mindful that you’re channeling it the right way. Good luck, and stay safe!

Your Business Fire Safety Checklist

Now is a great time for your business to think about the things you can do better and fire safety is certainly an area that gets often overlooked and shouldn’t be. So what better time than now to take a look at what needs to happen to get your business up to code and where it should be?

Today, we’re going to review a checklist of things that you should be paying attention to so that your business is where it needs to be with regards to its fire safety. Let’s jump right in!

Alarms

Alarms are one of the first lines of defense when it comes to fires. That’s why it is important to make sure they’re inspected on a routine basis and are in good, working order. It’s also a good time to review your plan of action should the alarm go off.

Extinguishers and Suppression Systems

Just like alarms, it’s important to make sure they’re inspected and tested to make sure they both work and have the right pressure when they get activated. Additionally, make sure your extinguishers are full and operational – as well as making sure they’re located in places where they’re both needed most and accessible.

Lighting

Lighting helps people know where to go. As always, get your lighting inspected and tested, but also make sure people are familiar with where lighting is available and where employees need to go in order to use it.

First Aid

First Aid kits and cabinets should not only be available to your employees but readily accessible as well. Make sure they’re fully stocked and have a plan to make sure they’re regularly getting restocked, especially if your workplace has genuine hazards associated with it. First aid can sometimes mean the difference between routine injury and catastrophe.

Training

Businesses should plan on taking at least one day a year to review not only fire safety but to be trained in how the building’s fire suppression system works and how and when to use extinguishers and other equipment. It’s also a great time to make sure that your preparedness plan is updated and engrained in your employees day to day. Doing so can make all the difference.

Making sure your fire safety prevention is in place and up to date might seem like a daunting task, but if you have routine inspections and maintenance done, all of this can be accomplished seamlessly.

If you have any questions on this or any other fire safety topic, please contact Protegis Fire and Safety.