The winter holidays are a time for celebration, and that means more cooking, home decorating, entertaining, and an increased risk of fire and accidents. CIBA recommends that you follow these guidelines to help make your holiday season safer and more enjoyable.
Strings of Lights: If reusing lights from previous years, inspect the strings of lights for any fraying, kinking or other problem areas. If you find ones that have problem areas, do not try to fix them! Throw them out right away.
Attentive Cooking: When baking cookies or readying the holiday feast, never leave the kitchen unattended. Kitchen fires are the leading cause of fires around the holidays and the majority are due to unattended cooking! Enlist people to watch the food if you need to walk away, and set a timer so you know when your food is done.
Outlets Overload: Never plug more than two appliances into outlets at once. Major appliances should always be plugged directly into their own wall outlet. Warning signs of an electrical system overload (which can lead to an electrical fire) are: Flickering lights, fuses blown regularly, cords are warm. If you notice one of the warning signs, unplug items to eliminate the overload!
Candles: Fires caused by candles are very common around the holidays. Always maintain a clear area around candles. Never leave candles unattended. Consider flameless candle options.
Christmas Tree: If setting up a live Christmas tree, water it daily! Christmas trees that are not properly watered can quickly dry up and pose a fire hazard. Fallen needles should be cleaned daily as well for the same reasons. If buying a fake tree, look for one that is fire-retardant and has a seal of approval from a recognized safety testing institution.
Detector Testing: CO Detectors and Smoke Detectors should be set up around your property and tested semi-annually. We suggest testing these detectors before every holiday that involves a lot of cooking as well!
Never more than 3: New packages of lights will tell you how many you can safety attach together. Always follows these guidelines and never attach more than 3 strings of lights to an extension cord as it can cause the cords to overheat.
Keep Pathways Clear: Holiday décor is a key part of the season, however it is important to decorate safely. Keep all pathways clear of décor, make sure your property and walkways are well lit.
Social Status: Do not post travel plans on social media as it will allow burglars to know if a property is unoccupied. Do not leave large boxes curbside showing all the new electronics you received either. This might attract the attention of people with ill-intentions. Cut up boxes and put in your recycle bin!
Lights Out: When going out or going to sleep, turn off all holiday lights.
Chimney & Fireplace: Hire a professional to clean your chimney once a year. Never burn paper in a fireplace. All fires should be put out before going out or going to bed.
Space Heaters: Space heaters should be inspected prior to use to insure the heater shows no sign of damage and electric supply cords are not frayed or damaged. Space heaters should be placed at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn like curtains, upholstery, or holiday decorations.
Happy Holidays from CIBA