Posts Tagged ‘fire’

Holiday Fires

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

Residential fires during the holiday season are more common and more deadly than at any other time of the year. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports more than double the number of open-flame fires on Christmas Day than on an average day, and about twice as many on New Year’s Day. To keep your home, family, and visitors safe, here are the fire dangers to watch for this holiday season.



According to the USFA, cooking is the top cause of holiday fires. The most common culprit is food that’s left unattended. With the holidays, families visit and things get busy. Understandably, it’s easy to get distracted but make sure if you are cooking something on the stove that you don’t leave the kitchen and keep a fire extinguisher that’s rated for all types of fires nearby.



According to the National Fire Protection Association, four of the five most dangerous days of the year for residential candle fires are Christmas/Christmas Eve and New Year’s/New Year’s Eve. Fires that start by candles are four times higher during December than during other months of the year. If you light candles for the holidays, maintain about a foot of space between the candle and anything that can burn. Make sure the candle is on a sturdy base and never leave flames unattended. Before bed, walk through each room to make sure candles are blown out. 


If you prefer candles because of the light, you can try using flameless LED candles instead. If you like candles for the scents, you can try use a candle warmer with wax. Both of these option will allow you to not worry about any flames.


Christmas Trees

According to the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Standards and Technology, it takes less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to engulf a room in flames. Tom Olshanski, spokesman for the USFA said “They make turpentine out of pine trees. A Christmas tree is almost explosive when it goes.” To minimize risk, buy a fresh tree, get a fresh cut on the trunk, and water it every day. Keep your tree away from heat sources and take it down after the holidays because all trees will start to dry out after about four weeks. Artificial trees don’t pose much of a fire hazard; just make sure yours is flame-retardant.


Decorative Lights

Inspect string lights and throw out any with frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. When decorating, don’t run more than three strings of lights end to end. Extension cords should be in good condition and UL-rated for indoor and outdoor use. When hanging lights outside, avoid using nails or staples which can damage the wiring and increase risk of fire.


Kids Playing with Matches

The number of fires and deaths caused by children playing with fire increases significantly during the holidays. From January to March, 13% of fire deaths are the result of children playing with fire and in December, that percentage doubles, the USFA reports. So you’ll want to keep matches and lighters out of kids’ reach.



Soot can harden on chimney walls as flammable creosote, so before the fireplace season begins, have your chimney inspected to see if it needs cleaning. You’ll want to screen the fireplace while it is lit and never use flammable liquids to start the fire. Only burn seasoned wood in your fireplace–no wrapping paper. 

The holidays are an amazing time filled with love and joy so you’ll want to keep your family safe. By following these tips, you can minimize the risk of fires and make great memories with your loved ones.

Fire Hazards: In the Kitchen

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

Fires are common and can start at any time. Do you know the different fire hazards and things to watch for in your home? In our next few blog posts, we will cover fire hazards that you will want to watch for.


Most residential fires start in the kitchen, while cooking. The following things should help prevent kitchen fires:


  • Be sure to stay in the kitchen when cooking, grilling, or frying anything.

  • Don’t have curtains, paper towels dispensers, or towel racks sitting too close to the burners.

  • If you don’t have a built-in microwave, make sure that there is no clutter around it and that the vents are not covered.

  • Have a fire extinguisher close and within easy reach in case of a fire.

  • Don’t put water on a grease fire if you don’t have an extinguisher! If a fire starts in a pan, then cover the pan with a lid to suffocate the flames.

Grease Fires Part 2

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Preventing Grease Fires

Now that you know what a grease fire is and how to put it out, you may be wondering how to prevent a one. One good tip is to be mindful of when a grease fire may occur such as holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas. But here are some extra precautions you should follow to prevent a grease fire.

  1. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.

  2. Be alert and do not use the stove or stovetop if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol.

  3. Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.

  4. Remove as much moisture as possible from food before putting it in hot oil. Do not put frozen foods into hot grease.

  5. Keep the grease at the recommended temperature. If you see any smoke of the oil smells, it is an indication that it is too hot. Immediately turn off the burner to let it cool down.

  6. Heat the oil slowly.

  7. Add food gently to prevent splatter.

  8. Keep a lid near the pan you’re cooking with so that it is accessible if a fire starts.

  9. Always keep children away from the stove while cooking.


If you haven’t read our other post about what to do if you have a grease fire, you can access the article here.  Just remember to be aware of your surroundings and on guard while you are cooking so you can act quickly if a fire starts.