Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, most of us are getting ready for Christmas. Decorating the tree and home is a family tradition that most of us enjoy. Tis the season for carols, cocoa and chestnuts roasting on open fires; however house fires are a danger during the holidays. ServiceMaster of Wichita Falls is here to keep your family caroling this year with some decorating do’s and don’ts.
House Fires- Electric
- Check electrical outlets for loose fitting plugs, which can be a shock or fire hazard. Replace missing or broken wall plates so wiring and components are not exposed.
- Be sure to check cords and make sure they are not frayed or cracked. Don’t run them under carpets or rugs or place them in high traffic areas. Do not nail or staple them to walls, floors or other objects.
- Make sure Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI’s) are installed in your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, workshop, basement, garage and outdoor outlets. Test them every month to ensure they are working properly.
- Use serge protectors because overloading an outlet with too many plugs can cause an electrical fire.
- Never force plugs into outlets. Do not remove the grounding pin (third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit a two-conductor outlet.
- Don’t ignore the signs of a potential electrical problem. Remember flickering lights, fizzles or pops are a sign of electrical danger to come. Don’t shrug it off as a small short because any sign of electrical short is a big problem!
- Do not place electrical cords near sources of heat and water.
- Don’t buy dry trees that are already losing pine needles. Fresh trees are less flammable and less likely to ignite.
House Fires- Candles
- Be sure to trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning; long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.
- Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
- Place the candle holder on a stable, heat-resistant surface so it is less likely to be knocked over.
- Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or before going to sleep. Make sure the wick ember is no longer glowing.
- Don’t burn candles under stove vents, kitchen cabinets or near furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations or on your tree.
- Don’t place burning candles near drafty areas such as under vents, near doors or fans.
- Do not burn the candle until there is nothing left, instead burn the candle only until 2 inches from the bottom or 1/2 inch if it’s in a closed container.
- Never burn candles if someone in the home uses oxygen!