The most wonderful time of the year is also one of the most dangerous for homeowners. All of the decorations we use to dress up our homes for the holidays—from candles to Christmas trees—can become potential fire hazards if we’re not careful. Add to the risk fireplaces, space heaters and nonstop baking sessions, and your dream of a perfect holiday can quickly go up in smoke.
If an unexpected fire does leave your family out in the cold this season, know that you have a fire restoration company like Pride Cleaning & Restoration in St. Louis by your side. With our state-of-the-art restoration services, we can help you get your home back to normal and your New Year off to a better start.
Stop holiday fires from starting and spreading
According to the National Fire Protection Association, home fires happen more in the winter than in any other season. While we can all get swept up in the rush of the holidays, it’s important to take extra precaution when working on your Christmas to-do list to protect your home and family:
Foil a Christmas tree fire.
A dry Christmas tree is pretty much a big pile of kindling in your living room. When putting up your tree, keep it away from any source of heat like space heaters and candles. Be sure to only use decorative lights that are suited for indoor use. And most important, water that thirsty decoration every day until the holidays are over.
Keep an eye on your fryer.
Turkey fryers may cook up a crispy, golden bird, but they also serve up $15 million in home damages each year if not correctly used. If fried turkey is on the menu this Thanksgiving, be sure your bird is completely thawed and dry before cooking and set up your fryer outside away your home, garage or porch. If the fryer begins smoking, turn off the gas immediately and keep an extinguisher on hand in the case of a grease fire.
Control your candles.
More than half of home decoration fires are started by burning candles. Keep your candles at least a foot away from anything that burns (like your Christmas tree or curtains) and high enough where pets and kids can’t get to them. Anytime you leave the house or go to bed, use a candle snuffer to ensure the flame is out—even if you have to set a reminder on your phone to be sure it’s done.
Take care with outdoor décor.
Light manufacturers include safety instructions for a reason. If you install lights not designed for outdoor use, overload outlets or power strips, connect too many light strands together, or put up damaged or warped light strands, your light display is no longer just a way to wow your neighbors, but also a threat to your family’s safety.
Be conscious when cooking.
The peak days for cooking fires are Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas. When cooking on your stove, keep anything flammable—like towels and oven mitts—away from burners. Stay in the kitchen when frying or grilling, and if you leave the kitchen while your Christmas cookies and pumpkin pies are baking, keep a timer running so you remember to check in.
What to do after a fire if it happens during the holidays
In the event a Christmas tree fire or other disaster does occur, your safety and recovery don’t have to be put on hold just because it’s the holiday season. As soon as the fire is out, contact your insurance company immediately to begin the claim process and take photos of the damage before any clean-up begins to maximize your insurance payment.
It’s also critical to contact a St. Louis fire restoration company right away to get a quote. Pride Cleaning & Restoration can be on site within 24 hours—even during the holidays—to provide you with an estimate and timeline for repair. When your claim is approved, we’ll not only repair your home’s fire and smoke damage, but also clean and dehumidify your home to prevent mold growth from water and chemical extinguishers.