At home and in the office, the holidays are a chance to cut loose and focus on the best things in life. But in order to look back at the year and dwell on our good fortune, we sometimes have to take our eye off an open flame, electrical system, or even the occasional deep-fried turkey.
According to the US Fire Administration, fires are not only more common throughout the holiday season; they’re more intense and damaging too. Those findings match our own experience at Guardian Recovery Services in Ferndale, MI.
Frankly speaking, we’ve seen too many holidays ruined by dangerous, quick-burning blazes. So this year, we’re hoping to get ahead of the holiday rush for fire damage restoration by reminding you about the most common causes of fires during this special time.
Most Common Causes of Holiday Fires (& What You Can Do)
Electrical Fires & Open Flame
Across the nation, people of all creeds celebrate the holidays with light. For some, that light comes from an open flame. For others, string lights add dazzle and awe to the occasion. In one great big festive expression, we light up the night—taxing our electrical grid and our own commercial or residential systems while we’re at it.
Of course, with that much juice pumping through old, tangled wires, any faults, gaps, or improperly installed components will be stressed to their limits. Lights stapled to the outside of a home or business are at even greater risk.
To prevent electrical fires, start by purchasing string lights that are rated for use wherever you intend to use them. Skip the staples and invest in non-damaging clips. It’s also a good idea to check your lights for any tears, frayed wires, or blown bulbs before putting them into service.
For more safety tips on proper lighting practices, visit the US Fire Administration social media kit here.
The holidays are stressful enough as it is without adding a seven-course meal to your to-do list. Predictably, we busy ourselves with the tablescape or lose track of time while mixing up some eggnog. Eventually, the smell of something burning reminds us that we were cooking in the first place—if only too late to salvage it.
The remedy to this issue may sound oversimple, but it is most assuredly true. To prevent kitchen fires, don’t leave cooking unattended.
When actively cooking on a stovetop, set loud timers and remain within reach. Enlist as many family members as you can for help with preparation, and double-check that your smoke detectors are working long before guests arrive. Obviously, you’ll want a working fire extinguisher close at hand, and it’s always wise to double-check that all stove eyes are turned off after you’re done.
Cooking is complicated and can quickly get out of hand when preparing food for so many guests. With just a few valuable holiday cooking safety tips, you can give yourself and your property the best chance at making it through unscathed.
For some holiday enthusiasts, it’s all about decoration. There’s tinsel to hang, bulbs and baubles to hook onto handrails, candles, nutcrackers, menorahs, and the deadliest of them all: Christmas trees. Before you’re done, you may have every square inch of your home covered in décor—most of it extremely flammable.
When possessed by the holiday spirit, we can sometimes lose track of what we’re hanging where. Decorations most often catch fire from being placed too near a heat source. That heat source doesn’t need to be an open flame, either. Space heaters, stoves, outdoor cooking equipment, and electrical light sources can all put out heat and risk igniting décor.
This year, be vigilant about where you place your décor, and remember that a lit candle is more than just a flame—that heat rises higher than the eye can see.
Preparing You For a Happy & Safe Holiday Season
From spooky Halloween candles to the Thanksgiving turkey, the holidays are a time for counting blessings safely. With your friends, family, or even your employees gathered under the same roof, and the best approach is capital “C” Caution for the best chance at capital “F” Fun.
When a stray flame or electrical fire results in smoke damage or fire damage, trust the professionals at Guardian Recovery Services to rescue your residential or commercial property. We provide air duct cleaning, deodorization, mold remediation, and restoration services for fire-damaged properties of nearly every kind.
Celebrate safer and enjoy the holidays to their fullest!
At Guardian Recovery Services, we won’t stop until your fire damage is completely reversed. We’ll work with your insurance provider to get you the funds you need for rebuilding, but we won’t let them rush us or shortchange you. Your commercial or residential property demands the utmost care and attention, even if it was a lack of attention that contributed to the fire. When the worst happens at the best time of year, call Guardian Recovery Services at (248) 965-5914!