By: Clint Strauch, President of Florida Peninsula Insurance Company Special to the Boca and Delray Newspapers
It’s the most beautiful time of the year… but it can also be a dangerous time. Here are six key fire safety reminders for this holiday season.
- Christmas trees result in 13 million in property damage each year.
- Do not forget to turn off your tree lights each night.
- Use plastic or soft ornaments on the tree to avoid glass accidents.
- Consider purchasing a flame-retardant Christmas tree
- Dry trees are a leading cause of tree fires. Be sure to water your tree every day.
Christmas lights, wiring, cords, plugs
- Inspect your Christmas lights for any worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections.
- Read the instructions provided with your lights for the maximum recommended light strands to connect.
- Do not overload extension cords or outlets to avoid fires.
- Never leave lit candles on the menorah unattended.
- Keep menorahs on a flat, fire-resistant surface.
- Keep lit menorahs out of reach of children and pets.
- Keep candles and heat sources away from your Christmas tree and all other decorations.
- Extinguish all candles before leaving your home or going to sleep.
- Keep lit candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, or other flammable materials.
- Candles should always be kept out of reach of children and pets.
- Do not burn a candle for longer than recommended on the label.
- Cooking is the leading cause of home fires especially around holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
- According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooktops and ranges cause 62 percent of home fires.
- Never leave a hot stove or oven unattended.
- Double check cooking equipment has been turned off before leaving your home or going to sleep.
- According to FEMA, failure to clean the dryer is the leading cause of home dryer fires.
- Clean lint filters every time you use your dryer
- Clean out your dryer vents and ducts at least once a year.
- Keep laundry detergent/pods and bleach locked and out of reach.
Florida Peninsula Insurance, based in Boca Raton, is one of the leading home-insurers in Florida. For more information please visit www.floridapeninsula.com.