FEMA estimates that yearly there are over 150 homes that sustain holiday decoration fires. The holiday season is upon us and homes are being trimmed with strings of lights, candles, electric heaters, and lit fireplaces. It’s important to be aware that any of these things can spark a fire in your home in the blink of an eye.
When you start dragging your lights out of their storage, assess the wires for any fraying or damage. The torn and exposed wiring can easily catch the tree or any other material near it on fire, like draperies. If you feel that the lights are running hot once plugged in, consider replacing them.
While scented candles can be a year-round pleasure for many, the candle heyday is certainly the holiday season. Many decorations involve tea lights and some still trim the tree with real candles. Christmas trees easily ignite and while this decoration can look beautiful, it is a real threat. Any other candle burning in the home should be closely monitored and it is not recommended to leave a candle burning unsupervised. Keep blankets and draperies clear away from any burning candles.
It’s cold. Portable heaters are great to take with you from room to room to keep you toasty. However, these appliances run very hot and can start to burn and even catch fire to surrounding items. Give your electric heater its own space, especially from fabrics like blankets and draperies.
There’s nothing like the smell of a warm, crackling fireplace. However, without diligent care of your fireplace and supervision, a fire can catch. It’s recommended that you get your fireplace inspected. The rule of thumb for fireplace inspections varies by age of the chimney/fireplace and the frequency of usage. If your fireplace is older than 50 years, once every two years is best to watch for cracks in the mortar or deterioration in the equipment. Two years is also recommended for heavy users. If you use your fireplace less often than twice a week and it is newer than 50 years, an inspection every five years is probably sufficient.
It’s also highly recommended that your fireplace is outfitted with a screen to protect the surroundings from any cinders that may spark and fly out. Oftentimes rugs catch sparks from the fireplace and that’s what causes them to ignite.
Please be aware of these items this season and know how they can easily start a fire. A few Louisvillians this year have already suffered home fires caused by their fireplaces.
Contact us at Allen Electrical for any of your residential electricity needs today!