May Your Days Be Merry and Bright – In the Best Way!

Dec 16, 2015 (0) comment

Fire Safety Tips for Holiday Time

At USA Insurance Group, safety is one of our top priorities all year long, and this time of year is no exception. While we all like to focus on the merriment, the fact is some of the things that make this time of year so special are the very things that can create hazards. And no one wants to suffer a loss – especially during the holidays.

From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, we have more going on outside of our normal routines than most other times of the year – our schedules are more hectic, cold and snow make driving and outdoor activities more difficult, we eat and drink in ways that we may not during other times of the year, and we have decorations in places we are not used to having them. Unfortunately, lots of atypical activity doesn’t necessarily equate to added vigilance. Yet, just when we don’t want to pay attention to one more thing, it is imperative that we pay careful attention to what is going on around us!

The National Fire Protection Association reports that from “2006-2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 230 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees. Home Christmas tree fires caused an average of four civilian deaths, 21 civilian injuries, and $17.3 million in direct property damage per year… Although these fires are not common, when they do occur, they are unusually likely to be serious. On average, one of every 66 reported home structure Christmas tree fires resulted in a death compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home structure fires.”

A little knowledge and awareness goes a long way when it comes to fire prevention. So, here are some common sense reminders to make sure your season is “Merry and Bright” (and not in the wrong ways, if you know what I mean).

For all candles, never leave them burning while you are not in your home, and be sure they are out before you go to sleep. There are many ways they can be knocked over (children, pets). Even just letting a candle burn all the way down until it goes out can make for a waxy mess.
Living Christmas trees should be kept well watered at all times to avoid them becoming dry, as this is when those beautiful light strands around them can become an extreme fire hazard.
Check light strands for any frays or gaped insulation, broken lights and any general kinking or wear. Dispose of any sets that appear in need of replacement. Getting a new strand is much more affordable than the damage of a home fire. Keep an eye on them throughout the season as well.
Make sure all decor is flame retardant and kept a safe distance away from heating vents, fireplaces, and any other sources of heat in your home.
Check all your smoke detectors regularly to make sure they are functional, and be sure to keep a fire extinguisher handy.
Have a fire evacuation plan ready for you and your loved ones.

Everyone loves a beautifully lit home that is warm with colors, candles, and the joy of the season. We all want to spend this wonderful time of year together safely, and although there are no guarantees, we can all do our best to help avert a disaster by taking little steps to avoid an easy oversight.

So please, have fun, be safe, and as always call us if you are in need of home insurance coverage, or have any questions about a fire or any other claims on the policy you currently have with us.

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