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Avoid These Common Holiday Fire Hazards

Avoid These Common Holiday Fire HazardsIt’s easy to overlook safety during the holidays. We’re all swept up in shopping, decorating, wrapping presents, organizing social events and preparing feasts. But the fact is, your home can be a minefield of hazards, particularly when it comes to the potential for fires. Let’s look at a few of the most common holiday fire hazards, and how to avoid them.

Overloaded Outlets

Of the 5000 home fires that break out every year, nearly half occur during the holidays — and most of these are caused by overloaded lighting. You might be inclined to keep plugging in strands of lights to power strips as you go about decorating your tree and your home, but be careful not to overload. If you’re plugging in outdoor lights, be sure to use a multi-outlet power strip designed for outdoor use. Always pay attention to wattage before you plug in the lights. Always use a power strip with a built-in fuse or breaker so that the fuse will blow or breaker trip before the wire shorts or the insulation melts and a fire starts.

Take heed if the following occurs:

  • Circuit breakers trip often;
  • Lights flicker or dim;
  • Extension cords feel warm or show scorching signs; or
  • Buzzing, humming or sizzling sounds from lights

For safest use, do this:

  • Avoid hazards by not using old or frayed lights.
  • Try to plug light strings directly into outlets or power strips.
  • Use efficient LED lights.
  • Don’t “piggyback” power strips.

Other Hazards

  1. Exercise caution with heat sources, such as space heaters and fireplaces. Keep the damper open for the fireplace, and use a fire screen. Keep space heaters well away from flammable objects.
  2. Be sure to keep the tree holder full of water if you have a live Christmas tree. Dry, brittle trees can burst into flames from candles, space heaters set too close or a short from your electric lights.
  3. Avoid decorating with lit candles. You might forget about them in the bustle of things.

Learn more about holiday fire hazards from Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We serve Yuma and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home safety and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183. 

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