Fire and Fireplace Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

(StatePoint) The holiday season is full of family, friendship and good cheer, but it’s important to keep in mind that this time of year can also pose specific safety risks, particularly around the use of candles, fire and heating products.

In 2015, one home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Unfortunately, the hustle and bustle associated with this time of year may mean you are paying less attention to safety precautions. To protect your family and home, check out these tips.

Safety Devices

Double check all of your home’s safety devices, including carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms for functionality and to ensure batteries are still working.

Doing so will offer you greater peace of mind during a time of year with additional fire risks.  

Fireplaces

Nothing beats the charm and warmth of a fireplace, particularly around the holidays when the family is gathered together. Heatilator, a leader in fireplace safety and the number one fireplace brand used by homebuilders, began including safety screens as standard equipment more than a decade before rules required the use of this equipment in new fireplace installations. As a pioneer in the field of fireplace safety, they offer these tips:

• Ensure gas fireplaces are outfitted with safety screens. Check out Heatilator, which offers retrofit safety screens.

• Never leave children or pets unattended near a lit fireplace or one that was recently turned off. Safety screens are meant to protect against contact with hot glass, but remember that the metal can also heat up, and your heating equipment -- fireplaces, stoves, inserts and their surrounding material -- will remain hot for some time after use.

• Ensure gifts, trees, and holiday décor are all placed a safe distance away from the fireplace.

• Consider annual maintenance for both wood-burning and gas fireplaces, as recommended by experts.

• Learn more by visiting heatilator.com for additional fireplace safety tips and to learn about safety screens.

Candles

Candles can be a feast for the senses, but they are also a major cause of accidents and house fires, especially when your home is decked out with extra combustible décor. Don’t burn candles near curtains, trees and other flammable objects.

Never leave candles unattended. Ensure all flames are extinguished before leaving a room and before going to sleep. If you have pets or children, make sure any open flames are well out of their reach and consider alternatives such as candle warmers.

The greatest holiday gift you can give this season is the gift of safety. While decking the halls, take steps to make your home safer, too.

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Photo Credit: (c) Steve Herder - Shutterstock

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