Resource Center

Fire Monitoring During the Holiday Season

Dec 9, 2019 7:30:00 AM

The holiday season is here, and people around the world are decorating for it. While you’re decking the halls this year, it’s important to stay aware of what fire hazards can come up along the way. There’s no doubt that electricity usage increases during December, as Christmas trees are brought inside and decorated with lights and ornaments, and holiday lights are strung along the roof. Though a holly and jolly sight to see, keep in mind some safety tips that will provide smooth sailing for your holiday season.

An Electrical Fiasco

St. George Fire Battalion Chief Ken Guard said, “the danger of electrical fires increases dramatically during the holiday season, primarily due to the rise in the number of Christmas trees and holiday lights that can put a strain on extension cords and electrical circuits.”

Extension cords are not graded to take a significant amount of electricity, so limiting the amount of cords and avoiding overloading the circuit can help prevent fire outbreaks. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) stated nearly 45% of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical distribution or lighting equipment, and an average of 160 home fires are started by Christmas trees per year.

O Christmas Tree

In a video made by the NFPA, they show how fast a dry tree can catch on fire inside a living space, completely burning up in less than one minute. Then, they perform the same experiment on a Christmas tree watered daily, which burns at a much slower rate, creating a less severe burn in the room.

Watering an already cut tree might not seem like a typical action, but it’s recommended to saw a couple inches off the bottom of the trunk to reopen the pores, and then set the tree in a bucket of water or use another watering system. As you’re decorating the tree, be sure to keep it at least three feet away from a heat source. Also, keep the tree far from exits, in case something does happen and you need to evacuate the house quickly.

Holiday Hazards

Other holiday decorations are also responsible for fire danger. The NFPA reported that 780 home structure fires per year began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees. Before you string up Christmas lights, check whether they’re meant for indoor or outdoor use. When hanging outdoor lights, use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. Be sure to keep an eye on your holiday lights, and only use three sets of lights or less per extension cord. Consider putting your lights on a timer that turns them off when you head to bed, as to make sure nothing happens while you’re off dozing.

Fire Monitoring

Last but not least, make sure your smoke alarms are working. Having properly functioning fire detection reduces your risk of dying in a fire by nearly 50%, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

It’s easy to see how having a fire alarm can help save lives, but what happens if a fire breaks out while you’re away? The solution comes with fire monitoring. Having a monitored fire alarm makes it so someone is always available to identify an emergency and send help as quickly as possible. This can be vital in fire outbreaks, where the flames and smoke is a threat and can cause bodily harm in a matter of minutes. To keep you and your property safe this holiday season, be sure to follow these tips above, and reach out to AvantGuard to find out more about installing a monitored fire alarm system.

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