Be careless with candles
Candle-related fires resulted in another 70 deaths, 680 injuries and $308 million in property loss from 2009 through 2011. The majority of the fires started because the candle was too close to combustibles like decorations and curtains. Try battery-operated or electric flameless candles or if using real candles do the following.
- Keep them away from children, pets, and any place where they can tip over.
- Use sturdy metal, glass, or ceramic holders.
- Never leave a candle unattended.
- Extinguish them before going to sleep or leaving the house.
Use old, damaged lights
Decorative lights cause an average of 170 home structure fires, 7 deaths, 17 injuries and $7.9 million in property damage each year. To stay safe, discard lights with broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Use an extension cord that’s been rated for the intended use and follow these tips.
- Replace lights that are more than 3 years old or have been used for more than 90 days.
- Look for the certification label of a recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Intertek (ETL).
- Keep children away from spare bulbs, a choking hazard, and light strands, whose cords may contain lead.
- Turn holiday lights off before you go to bed or leave the house.
Be foolish around fireplaces
Fires related to heating systems, including fireplaces, result in 50,100 fires, 150 deaths, 575 injuries, and $326 million in property loss annually, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Before lighting any ﬁre, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from ﬁreplace area and do the following:
- Check to see that the ﬂue is open.
- Use a metal or glass fireplace screen to keep sparks from hitting nearby carpets or furniture.
- Make sure the fire is out completely before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Avoid burning wrapping paper in the fireplace, it can cause a flash fire.
Home fires are often unpredictable, and they can be deadly. That's why you need one full-floor, multipurpose fire extinguisher on each level of your home and one in your garage, plus smaller, supplemental units for the kitchen and car.