Winter is fast approaching as the holiday season gets ever closer, and with that time means warmth, closeness, and memories with all of our nearest and dearest. Unfortunately, it also means an increased risk of a house fire. Every year during this time firefighters have to deal with a marked increase in blazes that begin either in the kitchen or from decorations throughout the house.

Many accidents that occur could be easily avoided if people exercised a bit more care and had some more knowledge about best practices for cooking and lighting. Let’s explore some really important winter safety tips to keep you and your family safe this holiday season, and avoid dangers and tragedy from winter fires.

Winter Safety Tips

Did you know that 35% of all Christmas tree fires are caused by lighting equipment or problems with electrical distribution, like overloaded circuits? A fifth of holiday decoration fires start in the kitchen, and 17% happen in either the den, living room or family room. Fires start most often on Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day.

Most of these fires can be easily avoided by exercising some extra caution and common sense. Here are some tips to avoid accidents this holiday season.

Christmas Decoration Fires

Take care when decorating your home. Your Christmas tree is a lovely addition to the holiday spirit every year, but it’s also a danger. These trees, whether real or artificial, are flammable, and real ones get more flammable as they dry out. That means keeping them on a stand with water and adding fresh water every day. Keep them away from sources of heat including candles and heat return vents. Never put real candles on your tree to decorate it.

Even the lighting you use can present a danger, however. Always carefully check over your light strands to be sure there are no exposed, broken or frayed wires, no broken bulbs or empty sockets. Replace any burned out bulbs. All of this will reduce the chance for a short circuit. Don’t overload your outlets. Use power strips with surge protectors but never plug a strip into a strip. Turn off the tree when you leave the house.

Tree Disposal

When it’s time to dispose of the tree, get rid of it as soon as possible after the holidays. Find out your community’s rules on recycling trees. Don’t store it in your garage or leaning against the house.

Holiday Kitchen Tips

The biggest days for kitchen fires include Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. When you’re cooking, don’t wear dangly jewelry or loose-fitting clothes. Keep the kids and pets away from cooking areas, and keep anything remotely flammable away from open flames, such as pot holders and wood utensils. Use timers and check your food often. Don’t ever leave the kitchen with the stove burner turned on.

Dealing with Accidents

If you do get hurt this holiday season, and it’s someone else’s fault, they can be held responsible for paying for the damages you suffer. Collecting can require help from a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. If you’re in Charleston, contact the Stewart Bell Injury Lawyers and get a free consultation about your case today.

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For more than 30 years, the lawyers of Stewart Bell, PLLC have helped the people and businesses of West Virginia protect their interests and rights. We understand the issues that injury victims and their families face after an accident and work quickly to obtain the MAXIMUM amount of compensation for every case we handle.

We have recovered MILLIONS of dollars for clients injured because of nursing home abuse, motor vehicle accidents or medical malpractice.

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