Here's a great list of excellent tips to help everyone stay safe this holiday season. Thanks to Nina Hollander for sharing this list with us:
From one of our favorite inspectors in the Charlotte metro area, Eric Dorman with Pillar to Post, come the following 10 tips on staying safe from fires during the holiday season and throughout the winter months.
So many conditions that can/do cause house fires can be avoided or totally prevented. Some simple precautions, preventive inspections, and advance planning can help prevent home fires and save both property and lives should disaster strike. Follow these great tips and enjoy the upcoming holidays without worry!
Eric Dorman's and Pillar To Post's 10 Holiday & Winter Fire Safety Tips:
- Electrical devices: lamps, appliances, and electronics should be checked for frayed cords, loose or broken plugs, and exposed wiring. Never run electrical wires or extension cords under carpets or rugs as this can create a fire hazard.
- Fireplaces: a professional chimney sweep should check and clean your fireplace to prevent the dangerous buildup of creosote, which can cause a flash fire in the chimney. Cracks in masonry chimneys should be repaired, and spark arresters inspected to ensure they are in good condition and free of debris. And don't ever dispose of fireplace ashes while they are still hot in a trash container in or near your home.
- Space heaters: should be kept away from beds, bedding, curtains, papers -- in other words from anything flammable. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for use. Space heaters should never be left unattended or where a child or pet could knock them over.
- Smoke detectors: should be equipped with fresh batteries unless hard-wired to your home's electrical system. Smoke detectors should be installed high on walls or on ceilings on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside every sleeping area. Statistics show that nearly 60% of home fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms.
- Matches, lighters, or candles: Don't allow children to play with these and keep children away from all flammable materials such as gasoline, kerosene, or propane, all of which should always be stored outside of and away from the house.
- Kitchen fires: know no season. Grease spills, items left unattended on the stove or in the oven, and food left in toasters or toaster ovens can catch fire quickly. Don't wear loose fitting clothing, especially with long sleeves, around the stove. Handles of pots and pans should be turned away from the front of the stove to prevent accidental contact. Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher within easy reach. Think about getting an extinguishers specifically formulated for grease and cooking fuel fires to supplement an all-purpose extinguisher.
- Have an escape plan: one of the most important things you can do to prevent death in a fire. https://www.ready.gov/ has detailed information on how to put together such a plan. Local fire departments can also provide recommendations on escape planning and preparedness. Every family members should know how to dial 911 in case of a fire or other emergency.
- Live Christmas trees: should be kept in a water-filled stand and checked daily for dehydration. Needles should not easily break off a freshly-cut tree. Brown needles or lots of fallen needles indicate a dangerously dried-out tree which should be discarded immediately. Always use nonflammable decorations in the home, and never use lights on a dried-out tree.
- Candles: should be placed in stable holders and away from curtains, drafts, pets, and children. Never leave candles unattended, even for a short time.
- Holiday lights: should be checked for fraying or broken wires and plugs. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines when joining two or more strands together, as a fire hazard could result from overload. Enjoy indoor holiday lighting only while someone is home, and turn them off before going to bed at night.
These holiday and winter fire safety tips are brought to you courtesy of Nina Hollander and Carolinas Realty Partners, RE/MAX Executive Realty, your Charlotte metro area real estate consultants.
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