Christmas is around the corner. In fact, it is knocking on the door already. We are doing what we always do in this time of the year; shop around to celebrate the birthday of the lord and savior. On the eve of 25th, we’ll all be singing “We wish you a merry Christmas” and greeting each other before going to bed with the stockings hung so dear old Santa comes and fills them with gifts.
But what if the joyous environment gets disrupted by unanticipated eruption of fire? It could happen if you don’t follow the fire safety tips for Christmas. To follow the tips, you first need to get a hang of how fire could break at your house on Christmas.
Christmas trees are often put by the fireplace; that’s one among many reasons behind fire eruption. As a matter of fact, if data from National Fire Protection Association are to believe, around 400 cases of fire take place in Christmas due to the tree and cause injuries, property damage and sometimes death.
Fire safety tips for Christmas chiefly deal with safe handling of the Christmas tree. But other generic guidelines are also recommended so incidences of fire breakout could be avoided.
Let us first give a look at
Christmas Tree Fire Safety Tips
Christmas tree could be natural or artificial. If you are buying a natural tree, make sure it’s fresh. Few things to look at are needles are difficult to pull from branches, the bottom of the stock is sticky with resin, noodles are not breaking when you are bending them, etc.
If you are buying an artificial tree (As with most cases), check if it has the ‘Fire Resistant’ label. The benefits of fire resistant trees is even if they catch fire, they don’t burn much and put out the fire pretty quickly.
Putting the tree at the right place is important. Select a place that is away from heating elements at your home and put the tree there. A natural tree that is dry inside is a fire hazard. It could catch fire from the fireplace or from radiator. So putting it at a safe distance is recommended. If you block the heating elements, then fire risk would be reduced. But then you need to turn the thermostat on so the house would continue to remain warm.
One mistake that many house owners make is putting the Christmas tree at the pathway. Pathways are for people to move from one corner of the house to another. If they ever bump into the tree and it falls down causing its needles to break, the dry needles may catch fire from the kitchen or from the fireplace.
All the safety practices regarding Christmas tree handling should be put in place so fire risk could be minimized to zero.
Outdoor Light Safety Tips
There are specific Safety guidelines from NFPA regarding outdoor lights. At the time of purchasing the lights, make sure they are from a recognized testing laboratory. Don’t use old lights because they often have unraveled wiring and cracked sockets, which increase the chances of fire.
Extension cords have limited capability. So don’t put strain on them. Connect one extension cord to three standard size lights. When installing outdoor lights, use a wooden ladder because wood is bad conductor to electricity. Don’t stand in water when handling electrical equipment and shut off the main power when changing a bulb. At the time of leaving the house or going to bed, turn all outdoor lights off.
Candle Safety Tips
Candles are an integral part of Christmas. However, wrong use of candles may result in fire breakout. Safe handling of candles means putting the candle away from combustible objects and other heat sources. Candles should never ever be placed near the Christmas tree. Wrapping papers, curtains and aerosol sprays should also be kept at a safe distance from the candle.
Indoor Light Safety Tips
Indoor lights such as Christmas lamps and Christmas tree lights should be used cautiously. Christmas lamps for example are often covered in decorations. If the decoration is not a part of the light set, it shouldn’t be used because such decorations could melt by increased heat and amplify fire risk. The LED bulbs, tagged with the Christmas tree shouldn’t come close to any flammable object.
What every house owner needs to understand is compliance to fire safety standards set by NFPA is not optional. It’s mandatory if you want to spend a tensely joyful Christmas and bottle up fire risk.
Katie Smith is a Fire Expert and his area of interests and expertise lies in forensic science and accident or crime scene investigation related matters. He often consults Houston Fire Investigation
Read more at http://broowaha.com/articles/20483/some-of-the-most-destructive-fires-in-the-history-of-the-us#XSfqFmOV0UtDpyXh.99