Follow a few basic tips to avoid these fire hazards during the holiday season.
The National Fire Protection Association this month reported that in a four-year span, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 860 home structure fires that began with holiday decorations and an additional 210 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees catching fire.
Remember these prevention tips between now and the New Year:
➡️ Inspect decorations for frayed wiring and keep them, and any other flammable items, at least three feet away from open flames and heat sources.
➡️ Have an escape plan ready. Practice with family members and guests to ensure everyone is prepared in case of a fire.
➡️ Never leave cooking equipment unattended, and turn off burners if you have to leave the room.
➡️ Ensure multiple extension cords are never strung together or ran under rugs, carpets or furniture. Make sure those used outdoors are labeled “for outdoor use.”
➡️ Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off if you’re leaving the room or going to sleep. Do not let children or pets play too closely to a space heater.
➡️ If you have a Christmas tree, water it daily, and discard the tree when it is dry and begins dropping needles.
Finally, remember CO and smoke alarms save lives. Install CO and smoke alarms on every level of your home, in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area. Be sure to test the alarms once a month, and change the batteries yearly.
For more at-home safety tips, visit SWEPCO.com/Safety.