Holiday Safety Tips

People warm up by a furnace. Holiday Safety Tips.

Who knew the holidays could be so dangerous?

From Christmas tree fires to falling off ladders while stringing up the lights, it’s pretty clear you need to keep your wits about you while celebrating the holidays at your Washington home.

Nobody wants to spend Thanksgiving in the emergency room, but it happens more often than you think.

At Bode’s Electric & Plumbing, we strive to offer practical solutions for our Bellingham customers to keep you and your loved ones comfortable, healthy, and safe throughout the year. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before you pour your next glass of eggnog.

Staying Safe Over the Holidays

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day of the year for cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day. Leaving the kitchen unattended is by far the leading cause of cooking fires and fire deaths.

Fire departments across the country respond to an average of 160 Christmas tree fires each year, causing an average of three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage annually.

Electrical distribution or lighting equipment is responsible for the vast majority of these tragedies. A heat source—such as a candle—also contributes to a large number of Christmas trees catching fire.

But fires aren’t your only concern: the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPCS) estimates there are 12,000 or more emergency visits each year that stem from holiday decorating. It could be falling off a ladder or stepping on an ornament.

Holiday Safety Tips

Most of these incidents are preventable. Here are a few tips to follow to keep your holidays on a jolly keel:

Cooking

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop.
  • Keep children away from the stove.
  • Do not leave the house if you have a turkey cooking in the oven.
  • Be sure electric cords are not dangling from the kitchen counter.
  • Test your smoke alarms to be sure they are working.

Trees

  • Check your live tree for freshness. A fresh tree is green and pliable, making the needles hard to pull off. They should not break when bent between your fingers.
  • Place your tree away from candles and other heat sources. Running your furnace often will dry out a tree, so be sure you monitor the water levels and keep the stand full of water.
  • If you buy an artificial tree, check for the fire-resistant label. This does not mean that your tree will not burn, but it will mean the tree is resistant to fire and easier to extinguish if it does catch.

Holiday Decorating

  • Keep your holiday decorations out of reach of children, and avoid decorations that look like candy or food.
  • Note that some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
  • All indoor lights should be safely away from drapery, furniture, and carpeting.
  • Don’t use staples or nails to put up lights. These may damage the wires and could result in shock or fire. Use clips or hooks instead to hang up lights. 
  • Turn off all the lights before going to bed or install a timer to turn the lights off and on automatically.

Candles

  • Be sure you keep all candles in sight and extinguish them before you leave the room.
  • Keep the candles on sturdy and heat-resistant surfaces.
  • Place all candles out of reach of children or pets and away from things that can catch fire.

Keep Safe Through the Holidays!

Bode’s Electric & Plumbing provides homes and businesses in Bellingham, WA with the best solutions for all your electric and plumbing services. Enjoy the holidays safely, and be sure to call 360-733-2213 or request service online today to learn more about our products and services.

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