MyKey Presents: Tis the Holiday Season! Prep Your Home Before You Deck the Halls!Nov 25, 2020
Deck the halls with boughs of holly! Fa la la la la, la la la la! Yes, it sure is the holiday season. You can almost hear Santa calling out your name from Winter Wonderland! This is the most wonderful time of the year. There’s a lot of chitter-chatter and hustle-bustle going around about putting up lights, buying presents, or choosing the perfect Christmas tree. And while all this planning and execution excites and enthralls us, we must always remember that danger itself never takes a holiday and that it is important to prepare our homes before the holiday season arrives.
The U.S. Fire Administration declared December as the worst month for electrical fires. Most fires are caused due to dried out Christmas trees, a poor inspection of lights, or furnaces, chimneys, and barbecues that have not been serviced. Thus, it is important to make sure your home is prepped before the holidays arrive.
Here are few important points to be noted before you get your home ready for the holidays:
Do a thorough inspection of your decorative lights
Make sure you check the strands of the lights for any frayed cords or cracked bulbs before you string them on the tree or the house. Replace the broken bulbs and get rid of frayed cords. This will help prevent an accidental fire.
Buy the right Christmas tree
Pick a fresh-looking tree with green needles as fresh trees are much less likely to catch fire. Trees having brownish needles means they are really dry, thus making them more flammable. You must water the tree so it remains consistently moist. Keep the tree away from heat and lit candles. Make sure you turn off the lights strung on the tree while you are sleeping or away from home.
Make sure to service the barbecue
Cold weather or not, some diehard grill masters cook over gas or charcoal no matter the season. Clean the cooking surface and the inside of the grill thoroughly as it avoids the risk of a fire. Also, if you decide to grill or deep fry a turkey, keep checking it frequently. Be sure children stay away from the barbecue and also remove any dangling electric cords around it. Other safety tips include:
- Make sure you operate your grill outside and place it at least 10 feet away from your home, trees, and overhangs
- Clean the grill before and after your done using it to eliminate flare-ups
- Don’t leave your grill unattended
- Use only charcoal starter fluid. Avoid using other flammable liquids
- Check the propane gas tank hoses for any leaks
- Allow the coals to cool down completely before you dispose of it in a metal container
Inspect the furnace and the chimney
Clean out air ducts, sweep the chimney, and hire a professional to inspect your furnace for any cracks in the heat exchanger and rust build-up on the burners. As for the chimney, inspect damper and gasket material, check for any odd smell, loose bricks in the chimney, or missing mortar. Also, use a diffusion screen to prevent sparks from flying or a flaming log rolling out of the fireplace.
Keep your fire extinguisher and smoke alarms in check
Make sure your smoke alarms are working and test them by pushing the test button. Replace the batteries of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work properly in case of a fire hazard. Make sure your fire extinguisher is accessible and unexpired.
Make sure the candles are kept away from linen and flammable substances
The holiday season is all about lights, happy cheers, and presents; and even though you would want to light up your house like a ballroom, make sure you keep away electric wires, bulbs, and lit candles from linen and other flammable substances that may lead to a fire hazard.
According to one study conducted by fire departments, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires followed by Christmas Day. Records showed that the fire departments responded to an estimated 172,900 home cooking fires between the years 2014-2018 with Thanksgiving and Christmas Day being the peak days.
It is important that you have a safe holiday before you have a joyous one!
Here are 10 additional tips to copy down on your sticky note to prevent accidents during the holidays:
- Get rid of old and worn out decoration items and replace them with new ones
- Do not overload power sockets and extension cords with light strands
- Place the Christmas tree far away from candlesticks and the furnace/fireplace
- Get rid of any clutter around the furnace/fireplace and the Christmas tree, especially linen and other flammable substances
- Never leave the lights on while your sleeping at night or when you are away from home
- While experimenting with recipes, make sure you do not leave the stove, oven, or barbecue unattended
- Keep washcloths and other linen away from the stove while cooking
- Place candlesticks away from drapes, stockings, and other decorative items
- Make sure the lights put up on your house or tree are not touching overhead wires or lamp posts on the street
- Keep the area around your dryer clean and don’t overload it. Remove snow from the outside that opens to the dryer vent. Avoid overheating the dryer by using the air-dry setting or a lower heat setting
We feel your thrill and excitement over the holidays and understand you are ready to end the year with great pomp and celebration. However, safety comes first and while you’re having fun it is important to take the necessary precautions to enjoy the season to the fullest.
A Complete Temporary Housing Solution
But, should an unavoidable disaster strike or your festive celebration go awry leading to an accidental house fire, MyKey Global Accommodations will be here to help you and your insurer. We’ll quickly find the right temporarily furnished accommodations to ensure you, your loved ones, and your pets will feel right at home so your holiday cheer remains high until you move back into your home sweet home!