According to the Red Cross, “Nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage” and “one of every 22 home fires started by Christmas trees, result in death.”
We don’t want to be Debbie Downers, but the ugly truth is that bad things happen to properties at a much higher rate during the Holidays. Christmas lights, candles, empty potpourri plugins, holiday food left burning on the stove, fires left unattended, burglaries and vandalism… you name it! So it’s important to add an extra spoonful caution to your hot cocoa this Holiday season. Here are some tips to help you stay on top of things to protect your home and business.
1.) MAKE SURE you have a working smoke detecter (or several) in your home.
Major areas of concern are the kitchen and living areas; and have at least one on each floor of the structure.
2.) DO NOT use Christmas lights or extension cords that have frayed or damaged wiring.
This causes sparks to fly and if they land on something dry and consumable, you’re in trouble.
3.) Place Christmas Trees, candles and anything else that produces heat at least 3 ft. away
from everything else that’s flammable (including walls). Also, make sure flammable items are 3 ft. away from your fireplace, space heater, radiator or furnace.
4.) ALWAYS blow out candles and unplug lights before you go to bed.
And it’s not a bad idea to make sure the oven and stove are off.
5.) MAKE SURE that nothing is placed on top of the stove top, that is flammable.
Mittens, pot holders, wooden spoons, grocery bags, food packaging etc. can and will catch on fire if the stove is on.
6.) Try to purchase a flame retardant christmas tree.
If you have a real tree, make sure it is super green; once they start turning brown and shedding, they’re more likely to catch on fire. It takes only 30 seconds for a tree to engulf an entire room in flames.
7.) Don’t walk away from the kitchen when you’re cooking.
It’s easy to get distracted when family and friends are over, so make sure to set timers to remind yourself to check on the food.
8.) Keep matches and candles out of site and/or out of reach of children.
An unbelievable amount of fires during the season are started by children playing with matches and candles.
9.) Fireplace maintenance.
Make sure your chimney is clean and free from blockages before you blaze it up the first time. Add a screen in front to prevent embers from sparking out onto the floor, and never place rugs directly in front of the fireplace.
10.) Last, but certainly not least, MAKE SURE you know what your insurance policy covers.
If you don’t, simply call your agent or Insurer and have them email or mail you a copy of your policy. Read through it, and if you don’t understand it or you want to be sure you understand it, call a Public Insurance Adjuster near you.
Noble Public Adjusting Group offers free policy consultations and inspections to make sure you know what you’re getting, should disaster strike. 1-800-705-0570 or http://184.108.40.206/request-a-property-inspection/ to schedule.