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It’s the Christmas month, folks! For most of you, it is time to decorate your houses with a Christmas tree, lighting, and all sorts of beautiful ornaments to make it look merry. However, there is another thing you need to be mindful of during the preparations — house fires.

While it is true that most decorative items are manufactured to withstand the challenges of the holiday season — electrical hiccups, cooking incidents, and such — improper usage of these items can spike the chances of house fires. The best way to avoid an accident is by taking the proper safety measures.

Here are a few safety tips that will help you enjoy the holiday season without encountering any unexpected fire accidents.

1) Christmas Tree

A dried-out Christmas tree at home can prove to be a recipe for disaster. According to the NFPA, Christmas trees alone cause an average of 10 house fires each day. Hence, it’s recommended to purchase a real tree and water it every day to keep it fresh. Also, make sure to keep your Christmas tree at least three feet away from any heat sources like a fireplace or radiator. Position your tree in a place away from the doorway so that it doesn’t trip over.

2) Light Decorations

Since you will be taking out lights and bulbs from the storage after a year, there is a chance that mice have gnawed at their wires, or some of the bulbs have cracked due to mishandling. That’s why you should thoroughly check all the lights and decorations before using them. Use only those electrical decorations and extension cords that are specifically manufactured for outdoor use.

3) Fireplace

Get an expert to inspect and prepare your fireplace before use. Clean the chimney and place a sturdy screen to prevent embers from flying into the room. Don’t forget to exercise caution when using it! Burn only dry firewood and keep combustible materials like gasoline, paper, and paint thinners away from the furnace.

4) Candles

Many homeowners prefer candles for holiday decorations. Any open flame items should be kept on a stable, elevated, heat-resistant surface and away from the proximity of combustible materials or small children and pets. Politely ask your guests to smoke outside and dispose of cigarette butts and ashes properly.

5) Cooking

If you are cooking something on the stovetop or in the oven, stay in the kitchen until you are done. As per the NFPA, you should keep pan lids close, so that if a fire starts, you can quickly cover the pan and remove it from the stovetop. Wear appropriate clothes (close-fitting garments with rolled-up sleeves) and keep your little ones, as well as pets, away from the cooking area.

6) Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Take extra precautions and install a high-quality smoke and carbon monoxide alarm near the kitchen at home. If you already have them, get the alarms checked and replace them if needed. They will detect the presence of smoke or harmful carbon monoxide gas indoors and help you thwart a house fire.

7) Fire Extinguishers

Keep fire extinguishers in many places around your home, especially in the kitchen and near the door. Also, make sure that every member of your family knows about their location and how to use them. This way, if a fire breaks out, you can immediately take action to control the fire.

Don’t forget to do the extra bit of work and get yourself insured. This way, you can enjoy the security and peace of mind knowing that someone reliable has got your back in case of a fire accident.

At HIS Insurance, we offer a range of home insurance options to you, from extensive policies to basic liability coverages. Contact our experts at 540-535-0200 or 540-434-3111 to discuss more!