‘Tis the season for decorating homes with candles, shining lights, and brightly colored trees. As you cook, decorate, and celebrate with family and friends, it’s important to stay safe and avoid seasonal hazards.
During December, there is an increase in fires and injuries due to more cooking, combustible materials like dried out Christmas trees, faulty wiring on decorations, and candles in Chanukah menorahs and kinaras.
Here are some important tips for reducing fires and injuries:
Stay Careful in the Kitchen
The holidays means more time spent eating with friends and family, and more time in the kitchen. With so many festive meals and extra people around, cooking fires are more likely to occur. Always be sure to keep an eye on things on the stove.
- Never pour water over a grease fire. Instead, cover it with a metal lid or cookie sheet. If it’s small, pour baking soda on it to extinguish. A fire extinguisher can also be used.
- Remember to turn off the oven and stove top when food is finished cooking, and don’t place anything on a stove immediately after it’s been turned off as it can still remain hot.
- Keep lids close by for use in grease fires.
- For fires in an oven or toaster oven, turn the oven off and keep the door closed. Keeping the door closed will allow the fire to burn out by removing additional oxygen as a source of fuel.
Don’t Decorate Dangerously
Decorations can be a dangerous source of accidents and fires. Your home can be festive and beautiful with these safety tips in mind.
- Ensure that fresh trees and garlands don’t get dried out and aren’t near any open flames.
- Make sure that chords and plugs on lights aren’t frayed and replace them if they are. Only use plastic hooks to hang lights, not metal nails.
- When hanging decorations outside, confirm that they are safe and manufactured for outdoor use.
Shine Bright, Don’t Let It Light
In wintertime, fireplaces are roaring and candles are burning. Whether candles are used for decoration, or as part of the holiday celebration such as with a menorah or kinara, here’s how to make sure the flames stay where they are supposed to.
- Never leave a menorah or kinara unattended and be sure all flames are out before leaving your home or going to bed.
- Place burning candles in safe areas: away from where pets or children can reach them, far from flammable household items such as curtains, and nowhere near a Christmas tree.
- Don’t burn wrapping paper in a fireplace. It can lead to flash fires.
- While it looks beautiful, don’t hang stockings or decorations over an open fireplace.