-The Holidays are approaching and along with all of the excitement comes the danger of home accidents and fire. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that 30-percent of all home fires and 38-percent of home fire deaths happen from December through February and Cary Runnells of the Thousand Oaks State Farm Insurance Agency has released a list of Holiday Safety Tips to help people stay safe.
Start by making sure smoke alarms are all in working order and that fire extinguishers are easily available for the kitchen, the room with the Christmas tree and located in easy to reach locations in other areas of the house. If you have a live Christmas tree, make sure to keep it watered so it doesn’t dry out.
Fires and electrical shock caused by faulty ornaments, a tree that is too dry, and kitchen fires and accidents are the leading causes of fires and injuries during the holidays. Following these tips will help everyone have safe and enjoyable holidays:
- Do not overload electrical outlets, especially in the kitchen and with Christmas lights.
- Don’t connect more than three strings of incandescent lights. Doing so can cause fire.
- Inspect all electrical cords, extension cords and electrical decorations for wear or damage before use.
- Don’t run electrical cords under rugs or across paths of travel. Protect cords from crimping and twisting.
- Inspect all electrical cords and extension cords regularly.
- Only use extension cords for the purpose intended. Don’t use an indoor extension cord outside and make sure the cord is designed for the right power capacity.
- When possible, use battery operated decorations, including candles.
- Keep the tree, gifts, and other combustibles at least three feet from a heat source, including the fireplace.
- Make sure decorations and electrical cords have the best Underwriter Laboratory (UL) rating for the intended purpose.
- Unplug or turn off all decorations when leaving the home or going to bed.
- Don’t leave the fireplace unattended and make sure it is out before leaving or going to bed.
Kitchen safety is always important and especially during the holidays when the kitchen is extra busy.
- Stay in the kitchen while food is cooking.
- Unplug unused appliances to save energy and to keep them from accidentally being turned on.
- Keep the kitchen, stove top and counters free of extra clutter.
- Clean up spills right away.
- Keep children and pets out of the kitchen.
- Keep potholders and flame resistant oven mitts handy to avoid burned hands when moving hot pots and pans.
- First tilt the lid away from you to remove a lid from a pan or pot on the stove to protect yourself from hot steam.
- Wear close-fitting clothing while cooking. Loose clothing, especially long, loose sleeves can ignite if coming in contact with a hot burner.
- In the event of an oven fire, DO NOT open the oven. Turn off the heat. The closed oven door should smother the flames but be prepared to use the fire extinguisher, to call 911 and to evacuate the house.
- If a pot or pan on the stove catches on fire, put on a flame-resistant oven mitt, slide a lid over the flames and turn off the stove. Be prepared to use the fire extinguisher, to call 911 and to evacuate the house.
Remember: Safety First! Evacuate the home in the event of fire. Call 911 for fire and serious injury.
The team from Cary Runnells State Farm Insurance Agency in Thousand Oaks, wishes you and yours a wonderful and safe holiday season.