The terribly devastating recent events in Knoxville has us all on high alert right now. Our thoughts go to all the families involved and we are deeply thankful to be part of a community that takes pride in getting involved to restore that beautiful area. Thankfully, there has been more rain to help lower the fire hazards. Still, we can’t help but put a priority on home safety during the holidays this year. Here are some tips to help keep hazards away during these next two weeks:
Of course you want your house to look it’s best this time of year. Seasonal decorating adds to the charm of the whole season as neighborhoods fill with wonderfully well done Christmas lights. Just don’t forget the following:
- Always turn off the holiday lights before bed
- Don’t’ connect multiple extension cords
- Don’t overcrowd electrical outlets
- Use the proper outdoor lights
Before the Guests Arrive
- Test smoke alarms to be sure they work
- Child proof your home if guests have small children
- Make sure all deadbolts work and all entries are well lit
Winter Fire Safety
There’s nothing quite like the smell and sound of a fireplace crackling with seasoned fire wood. It warms not only the room, but mood of the whole house and the people in it. When treated with respect, the fireplace is a wonderful way to encourage everyone to gather for a few hours of fun and conversation that can lead to a lifetime of memories.
However, each year there are thousands of accidents related to winter fires – many from the fireplace. Here are some shocking statistics from FEMA that illustrate the danger of winter fires:
The threat of winter fires is real. Use these statistics to help citizens understand the severity and prevalence of winter fires.
- 905 people die in winter home fires each year.
- $2,091,000,000 in property loss occurs from winter home fires.
- 67 percent of winter fires occur in one- and two-family homes.
- Cooking is the leading cause of all winter home fires.
- 5 to 8 p.m. is the most common time for winter home fires.
(Source: National Fire Incident Reporting System 2009-2011)
These statistics account for fires that are sparked by various sources. The kitchen is another place where fires often start. Ovens and stovetops are big cultprits for kitchen fires. It’s easy to get distracted, especially with holiday guests, and set something flammable on a burning stovetop.
Of course, grease fires are all too familiar to most of us. If you’ve cooked for long enough, you’ve probably run into one yourself. The tricky thing with a grease fire is resisting the urge to throw water on it, which will only make it worse. It has to be smothered instead.
A good rule of thumb to help contain flare ups and fires at all times, but especially during the winter months, is to change your smoke alarm batteries and keep a functional fire extinguisher in an easy-to-access location.
Make it a great, safe celebration this year, and it will be remember for all the right reasons!