Paul Davis Restoration of Lake, Marion, & Sumter Counties, a leading provider of fire, water and mold damage emergency and restoration services for residential and commercial properties, offers the following tips to help make the holidays safe. Late fall and winter are the most prevalent seasons for house fires, and knowing the facts and implementing safety tips can make this time of year and the holidays more enjoyable and safer for friends and family. Additionally, Thanksgiving can signal the start of a peak time for home fires due to cooking accidents, electrical failures, dry trees, space heaters, fireplaces, candles, fireworks, and holiday lights, plus residents and visitors who choose to smoke in the home, to name a few.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA.org), and this year’s Put a freeze to winter fires campaign, home fires can occur during the holidays more than any other season. Festive celebrations, flickering lights and winter greens present fire risks which may quickly turn the celebratory time of year into a devastating one.
Current statistics indicate that U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage annually. Also, more than one-third or approximately 37 percent of home Christmas tree fires start in the living room, family room, or den. The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.
For more information and a fire safety tip sheet, among others, visit the NFPA safety website at https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Winter-holidays.
According to Paul Davis, here are a few tips to help avoid winter season and holiday fires:
- Trees: Water holiday trees often, ensure there are no faulty lights, and keep the trees away from heat sources like fireplaces and space heaters. The NFPA Video shows how a flammable dry tree versus one that is watered regularly. Consider a fire-resistant artificial tree instead.
- Holiday Lights: Check for melted or damaged wires/plugs on holiday light strands and turn all lights off while away from home.
- Cooking: Turn pot handles inwards to prevent accidents in the kitchen. Avoid wearing loose clothing which can ignite easily. Don’t store items on the stove.
The leading cause of home structure fires is from cooking and accounts for two out of every five house fires. Designate the kitchen as a kid-free zone especially during the holidays.
- Fireplace: Hanging stockings in front of the fireplace is a common practice. Be sure stockings are hung elsewhere while the fireplace is in use. Fireplace screens or glass doors are good investments, especially when children are in the house.
- Candles: Keep candles out of the reach of children and blow each candle out before exiting home. Electrical candles are great alternatives and give a similar effect.
- Fire Escape Plan: Know escape routes and practice with family members. Purchase fire extinguishers for every floor of the home and test smoke detectors.
- Emergency Plan Forms for family, home and business:
Family Emergency Plan Form: https://cdn2.pauldavis.info/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/30165551/FamilyEmergencyPlan_Interactive_US.pdf
Emergency Preparedness Form for Home: https://cdn2.pauldavis.info/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/30165748/Emergency-Preparedness-Home-US.pdf
Emergency Preparedness Form for Business: https://cdn2.pauldavis.info/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/30165934/Emergency-Preparedness-Business-US.pdf
- Emergency Preparedness Kit: Keep contact numbers handy for first responders, doctors, and insurance carriers. In case of destruction to home or office, contact a licensed, emergency services and property damage restoration company at www.PaulDavis.com
For more than 50 years, Paul Davis Restoration Inc. has restored residential and commercial properties damaged by fire, water, mold, storms and disasters. The experts at Paul Davis understand the complex process of recovering from property damage and provide complete services; there is no need for the expense and confusion of hiring multiple contractors. Paul Davis is a one-stop shop for disaster damage and restoration. Paul Davis Restoration has more than 300 independently owned franchises in the United States and Canada. The professionals at Paul Davis are certified in emergency restoration, reconstruction and remodeling. For more information, visit the company website at www.pauldavis.com.