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Ah the holiday season is upon us, presents, big roasted turkeys, decorations, festive lights and homes burning to the ground. Wait, what?? A home burning to the ground is not very festive. The unfortunate reality is that each year over a thousand families loses their lives and property in a house fire, often caused by carelessness, so today I want to touch on a few tips that can hopefully keep your holiday season free of fires.
When selecting your tree ensure sure you are getting a fresh one with bright green needles and keep it well watered so it stays as fresh as possible. As the cut trees age they begin to dry out and become more and more susceptible to fire. If you are purchasing an artificial tree make sure it is fire retardant. While not common here in South Florida, if you have any heat sources such as space heaters keep the distance between them and the tree enough to not cause damage.
I know it is common sense, however, watch where you are placing candles so that things like curtains can’t blow into them. If you have furry children, especially cats, be extra careful with candle placement and always blow them out if you are leaving the home or are going to be out of the room for an extended length of time.
This is the big one. Again, you are wrapping electricity around things that are flammable. When you take the lights out of storage carefully check each strand before plugging them in for frayed wires, loose lights or any signs of damage to the wiring. If you find anything that even looks suspicious throw them out and purchase new lights. It is just not worth the risk. Next, be very careful on how many lights or decorations you plug into each outlet. In a typical single family home most outlets are only rated to have twenty amps running into them. Plugging too many things into an outlet can cause it to pull too many amps and possibly cause a short or sparks that can send things up in flames. All the lights out of the box will tell you how many amps they draw. Also, don’t be fooled into thinking power strips are the answer as the circuit to the power strip is still only twenty amps. I also recommend that you spread the power sources for your decorations to multiple rooms if possible as often times two or three outlets in the same room are on the same circuit breaker in the panel.
Again, more common sense but watch out when it comes to cooking, especially when deep frying that wonderful delicious turkey. If you are going to deep fry it is imperative that it occurs outside and please make sure your bird is fully thawed. A frozen turkey going in a deep fryer is a recipe for disaster.
I wish you and yours all the best this holiday season! Here’s to your safety and until we cross paths again my friends has anyone else ever wondered if Santa would prefer a beer and some nachos over milk and cookies?
House Whisperer out!!