Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays
12/11/2017 12:00:00 PM
The holidays are a time for celebration, family, and decorations. These joyous times also bring new hazards and safety considerations for homes and businesses alike. Each year nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays, claiming more than 50 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554M in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The increased use of candles, fireplaces, and combustible decorations means more risk for fire. It is important that employees and tenants know the property rules and regulations as they relate to holiday fire safety for your organization.
You can prepare your home and business by prohibiting open flame candles; swap these out for battery operated candles. This also eliminates potential burns from hot wax.
Turkey Fryer Safety
Turkey fryers have become a new source for holiday fires. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there have been 168 turkey-fryer related fires, burns, explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning incidents since 2002, with a resulting $8 million in property damage. Seek out professionals to fry your turkey or utilize a new oil-less fryer. Should you wish to fry your own turkey, follow these best practices:
- Always ensure your turkey is thawed and dry
- Set the fryer up at least 10 feet from the building on level ground
- Keep hand protection available as the lid and handle often become too hot to handle
- Keep a fire extinguisher present
Christmas Tree Safety
Christmas trees are often a great source of fun and memories; especially fresh trees. Use the following best practices to maintain Christmas tree safety:
- Keep trees at least three feet from heat sources (fireplaces, radiators, etc.)
- Only use lights tested by a qualified testing laboratory and designed specifically for indoor or outdoor use depending on your application
- Always turn off the lights when you leave for the day or place them on a timer
- Keep your tree watered, topping off the reservoir daily
- Never use lit candles as tree decorations
According to the National Fire Protection Agency electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in two out of every five (40%) home Christmas tree fires. Check out this video to see just how quickly a dried out Christmas tree can burn:
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested to ensure they are working properly and emergency exits should be kept clear, especially in advance of special events where more people may be frequenting the business. Heating equipment should be inspected for proper operation and special care should be taken to ensure combustible items and decorations are not placed too close.
PHLY agents and policyholders can access risk reduction information, including a technical bulletin on Winter Holiday Fire Safety, by logging into your MyPHLY account and selecting Risk Management Services.
The NFPA also has some helpful resources:
IMPORTANT NOTICE - The information and suggestions presented by Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company in this E-Brochure is for your consideration in your loss prevention efforts. They are not intended to be complete or definitive in identifying all hazards associated with your business, preventing workplace accidents, or complying with any safety related, or other, laws or regulations. You are encouraged to alter them to fit the specific hazards of your business and to have your legal counsel review all of your plans and company policies.