Don’t Let Your Home Fall Victim to Holiday Hazards
Holiday-related fires can be prevented by taking a few simple precautions
Chicago, IL December 8, 2009 -- While the approaching holidays wouldn’t be complete without bright lights and twinkling candles, studies have shown it is precisely these decorations that can make the season dangerous for you and those you love.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, holiday fires claim the lives of over 400 Americans, injure 1,650 more and cause over $990 million in damage each year. In Canada, holiday fires are reported to contribute significantly to the 50,000 total residential fires that the Canadian Safety Association reports are fought annually.
“The number of home fires rises noticeably around the holiday season, largely due to such things as increased use of candles and light strands,” said Scott Majeski of PuroClean Property Restoration Specialists. “In just a blink of an eye, a festive glow can turn into a blaze, and the damage it can cause can be devastating.”
Fortunately, according to Majeski, many holiday-related home fires can be prevented by following a few simple precautions. Majeski says that by adhering to the following Dos and Don’ts, Chicago-area residents can be on their way to having a safe holiday season:
When caring for your tree:
DO: Select a fresh tree with green needles that are hard to pull back from the branches. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly.
DON’T: Place your tree near a heat source such as a fireplace or heat vent. Doing so will quickly dry out your tree and make it a fire hazard. Do not put up your tree too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove.
When using holiday lights:
DO: Inspect your holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots and broken or cracked sockets before putting them up. Be sure to only use lights that have been certified by an approved testing laboratory.
DON’T: Overload electrical outlets by connecting too many strands of lights. Unless the directions indicate it is safe, do not link more than three strands. Never leave holiday lights unattended.
When using candles:
DO: Use stable candle holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Also be sure that the holders themselves are non-flammable.
DON’T: Place hanging candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Also, keep burning candles away from other decorations and wrapping paper. When leaving the house, make sure that all candles have been extinguished.
Majeski adds that one of the most important things members of the community can do to protect themselves and their families from fires during the holiday season is to ensure that they have smoke alarms installed on every level of the house. All existing smoke detectors should also be equipped with fresh batteries. In addition, all families should have and practice an emergency exit plan.
Of course, if property is damaged by a fire during the holidays, it is important to call a restoration professional immediately. On call 24 hours a day, even on holidays, Majeski of PuroClean Property Restoration Specialists says the faster the response to a property damaged by fire and smoke, the greater the chance of saving property and possessions and minimizing claims.
For more information about PuroClean Property Restoration Specialists, please contact Scott Majeski at (312) 453-1500.
PuroClean is a leader in property damage restoration and has earned the trust of property owners, insurance professionals and home service providers throughout the United States and Canada since 2001. Backed by a comprehensive network of nearly 300 franchise offices and a national training and business support center, each PuroClean office responds promptly to property emergencies demonstrating a high degree of professionalism and compassion. PuroClean technicians are thoroughly screened, insured and trained in utilizing the latest in mitigation technology and procedures throughout the remediation process while operating under a strict code of ethics. In addition to serving the needs of property owners, PuroClean offers hundreds of Continuing Education classes each year to insurance professionals and property service providers nationwide. In 2008, PuroClean trained over 7,200 insurance professionals nationwide, helping them earn their Continuing Education credits. For more information, please visit www.PuroCleanChicagoLand.com.
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- PuroClean Property Restroation Specialists
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