The holidays are a time of fun and family, but they are also a time of higher risk of damage to your home. 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. When those fires occur, they do more damage: Property loss during a holiday fire is 34% greater than in an average fire.
You can help reduce the risk of fire and keep your home safer this holiday season by observing five fire safety rules:
Cooking fires increase significantly over the holidays, when numerous people may be cooking over long time periods to prepare a holiday feast. Making sure that stoves are attended to at all times and that smoke detectors have fresh batteries can help you prevent a fire starting in your kitchen during holiday preparations.
Holiday trees can go up in a flash and burn extremely hot. Most holiday tree fires are caused by an electrical short in decorative lights. Carefully examine all wires before draping lights around your tree and turn off holiday lights before going to bed each night or before leaving the house. Monitoring your tree closely and having a freshly charged fire extinguisher close to its location can help you stay safe.
Lit candles are another big cause of holiday fires, and the risk is highest on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. Monitor all candles closely, extinguish them before bed, and consider fake, electric or battery operated candles if there are many small children or pets running through the house.
Massive holiday displays can be a point of pride, especially in neighborhoods with a healthy rivalry surrounding size, brilliance, and expense of holiday decorations. However, be careful not to overload electrical outlets and be wary of dependence on extension cords. Electrical fires are yet another risk you don’t have to take during the holidays.
Many people – even those who have otherwise given up smoking – light up a cigarette, cigar, or even a pipe during the holidays. Make sure you put all embers out, don’t use a trash can as an ashtray, and never fall asleep while smoking.
Following these safety tips can help you reduce the risk of holiday fires and keep your home safe during the holidays. Make certain your homeowners insurance is up to date as well before the holiday season begins and have peace of mind while enjoying your family gathering.
About Olympus Insurance Company
Headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, FL and founded in 2007, Olympus Insurance Company specializes in Florida property insurance. Through its independent agency force, Olympus insures $40 billion worth of residential and investment property including homes, condos, rental property, and valuable personal property, with umbrella coverage and Spartan Enhanced Coverage available. Coverage for individual risks up to $5 million in total insured value is provided on one of the most comprehensive coverage forms in the industry.
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This article is for informational purposes only and does not form a part of, replace, change or amend any terms, conditions, provisions or language within your Olympus Insurance policy. We encourage you to read your entire policy.