Home Fires Increase During Holidays: Fire Safety Reminders

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By: Clint Strauch, President of Florida Peninsula Insurance Company Special to the Boca and Delray Newspapers

It’s the most beautiful time of the year… but it can also be a dangerous time. Here are six key fire safety reminders for this holiday season.

Christmas Trees

  • Christmas trees result in 13 million in property damage each year.
  • Do not forget to turn off your tree lights each night.
  • Use plastic or soft ornaments on the tree to avoid glass accidents.
  • Consider purchasing a flame-retardant Christmas tree
  • Dry trees are a leading cause of tree fires. Be sure to water your tree every day.

Christmas lights, wiring, cords, plugs

  • Inspect your Christmas lights for any worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections.
  • Read the instructions provided with your lights for the maximum recommended light strands to connect.
  • Do not overload extension cords or outlets to avoid fires.

Hanukkah safety

  • Never leave lit candles on the menorah unattended.
  • Keep menorahs on a flat, fire-resistant surface.
  • Keep lit menorahs out of reach of children and pets.

Scented candles

  • Keep candles and heat sources away from your Christmas tree and all other decorations.
  • Extinguish all candles before leaving your home or going to sleep.
  • Keep lit candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, or other flammable materials.
  • Candles should always be kept out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not burn a candle for longer than recommended on the label.

Cooking dangers

  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires especially around holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
  • According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooktops and ranges cause 62 percent of home fires.
  • Never leave a hot stove or oven unattended.
  • Double check cooking equipment has been turned off before leaving your home or going to sleep.

Extra laundry

  • According to FEMA, failure to clean the dryer is the leading cause of home dryer fires.
  • Clean lint filters every time you use your dryer
  • Clean out your dryer vents and ducts at least once a year.
  • Keep laundry detergent/pods and bleach locked and out of reach.

Florida Peninsula Insurance, based in Boca Raton, is one of the leading home-insurers in Florida. For more information please visit www.floridapeninsula.com.