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The days are shorter. The temperatures are colder. The holidays are here. Que the heaters, holiday lights, cheer – but keep the holiday hazards at bay.   

During what is supposed to be a season of happiness, RestoreCore gets too many calls about fires that have ruined holidays and homes alike.  Preventing these sad and unnecessary emergencies is easy if you pay careful attention to what causes them. 

Holiday Lights & Christmas Trees 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 40% of Christmas tree fires are caused by the lights. Be sure to inspect your lights before hanging them on the tree or house. Keep an eye out for any cords that are showing wear and tear, missing bulbs, or exposed wires. If needed, buy new strands.  

If you’re buying new lights, consider buying LED lights. Most Christmas tree fires are caused by overheated lights, so LEDs will help prevent overheating. Not to mention, it will keep your electric bill lower! 

Don’t have any more than three strands plugged into a single extension cord. While plugging as many strands into one cord as possible may seem like the most efficient thing to do, it can be a dangerous misstep. Plugging too many in will increase your changes of overheating and a related fire.  

Lastly, keep your tree hydrated. It will last longer and can go a long way in reducing the risk for fire. A dry tree is more flammable than one that is watered daily.  

Personal Space Heaters

Personal space heaters are common solutions to chilly office or home environmentsBut space heaters must be used with caution. Many modern-day space heaters have auto-shutoff switches built in, meaning when they reach a certain temperature or are knocked over, they shut off. However, if you’re using an older space heater, be extra careful.  

Personal space heaters remain one of the leading causes of property fires, though those powered by electricity are considered the safest.  

Using a propane or kerosene powered heater inside a home or business not only increases the risk of fire damage but can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Furnace Fires 

In our blog post last month, we talked about the importance of annual furnace checks. If you haven’t done that yet, now’s your chance!  

The leading cause of furnace fires is a faulty or malfunctioning part. Gas furnaces work by combusting fuel to create heat. If one or more parts aren’t functioning properly, you run the risk of a puffback or fire – which leaves you oily soot to clean throughout your home – or worse.   

One thing anyone can do to increase the functionality and life of a furnace is changing the furnace filter. But, when it comes to an annual inspection, bring in the professionals for peace of mind. 

Preventing winter hazards from happening is the first line of defense, but if you find yourself in the middle of a disaster, we can help. RestoreCore offers 40+ years of disaster restoration services and fire damage clean up in Philadelphia and the tri-state area. 

Call us at 800-231-1281 today to help you get back to normal this holiday season.