After listening to holiday tunes for the bulk of November, many people are prematurely in the mood to deck the halls. Before you bust out the holly and start trolling carols, consider the potential hazards you might be placing about your home.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that 160 Christmas trees catch fire every year, on average. Among those fires, half were caused by electrical distribution or lighting equipment and nearly 1-in-5 Christmas tree fires were started by decorative lights.
The above slideshow offers tips for safely decorating during the holiday season, according to Allstate.
Those that haven’t overlooked Thanksgiving should still proceed with caution while celebrating. The NFPA reported an estimated 1,400 fires occurred on Thanksgiving in 2019, a 228% increase compared with an average day.
“The good news is that the vast majority of cooking fires are preventable with a little added awareness,” Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of outreach and advocacy, said in a release. “By taking simple steps and precautions to minimize the likelihood of having a cooking fire, everyone can enjoy a festive, fire-safe Thanksgiving.”
The NFPA recommends the following tips to ensure a safe, blaze free Thanksgiving:
- Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Some types of cooking, especially those that involve frying or sautéing with oil, need continuous attention.
- When cooking a turkey, remain at home and check it regularly.
- Make use of timers to keep track of cooking times, particularly for foods that require longer cook times.
- Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels at least three feet away from the cooking area.
- Avoid long sleeves and hanging fabrics that can come in contact with a heat source.
- Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Only open the door once you’re confident the fire is completely out, standing to the side as you do. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact the fire department for assistance.
- Keep children at least three feet away from the stove. Kids should also stay away from hot foods and liquids, as steam or splash from these items could cause severe burns.