Decorate Your Home Safely
It is the 2021 holiday season, and SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County wants homeowners to stay safe as they decorate their homes for these upcoming festivities. Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Years Day are some of the top three days for home candle fires. In fact, around 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage.
Research shows that around 30 years ago, you had about 15-17 minutes to escape a house fire. Nowadays, that number has dipped to 3 to 4 minutes. Home fires are known to move faster today. It is believed that the two main culprits are cheap, modern furniture and synthetic fabric coverings. Additionally, as open floor plans become more common in modern homes it allows for easier oxygen flow and less barriers are set in place to stop a fire.
There are several contributors that are the cause for there being more house fires during the winter season. Heating is the second-leading cause of home fires, deaths and injuries. Because temperatures tend to dip below 40 degrees during the month of December here in Charlotte, NC, heaters are essential to homes. Space heaters especially contribute to this number. Another leading cause of home fires is the use of candles. More than 1/3 of home decorations are started by candles and around twelve percent of December candle fires began with decorations. Lastly, having a heat source that is too close to a Christmas tree is the cause of one in four winter fires, and around 52% of these fires result in deaths.
During the upcoming holiday season it is now, more than ever, important to have a safety checklist in your Charlotte home. If you haven’t done a fire safety check in your home, now is the time!
Use battery-operated candles. If you must use normal candles, make sure they are never left unattended, keep them away from anything that is flammable and put them out of reach from children and/or pets.
Make sure your holiday lights are not frayed or broken. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect. Stringing too many lights together or using extension cords can lead to fires.
Keep your Christmas tree at least three feet away from any sort of heat source such as fire places, space heaters or candles.
If you are hanging stockings on your fireplace mantel, make sure to take them down when making a fire. They are highly flammable.
Make sure all of the smoke alarms in your house are working. They should be placed in every sleeping area, outside every sleeping area and on each floor of your home.
Before using a ladder to hang lights, indoors or out, make sure you get someone to spot you. The last thing you want to do is end up in the ER during the holidays.
Keep small decorative pieces away from kids and pets. Many holiday decorations have smaller pieces that can fall or break off so it is important to monitor your home for items that could be ingested or cause choking.
Any sort of injury or house fire can take the joy out of celebrating the holidays, so it is important to take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of your home and your guests. No matter what holidays you celebrate, consider these steps for staying safe during your holiday festivities.
If a fire occurs in your home over the holidays our expert team is here to help. We are dedicated to serving our South Mecklenburg county locals in need. With specialized equipment and cleaning techniques, our “restore first” mentality reduces any interruptions and gets you back to your normal life.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
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