The holiday season is a time for cheer, decorations, gatherings with friends and family and celebration. Unfortunately, disaster does not take a holiday. Lutheran Disaster Response-Eastern PA, a member of the Liberty Lutheran Family of Services, most known for the aid they provide to families after natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods, also helps homeowners and congregations prepare to avoid disasters, such as fires in the home, during the holiday season.
“I would much rather spend time helping families and congregations prepare for and prevent disasters, than see them suffer and help them rebuild after a disaster that could have been avoided, especially around the Holiday Season,” said Julia Menzo, Disaster Response Coordinator for Lutheran Disaster Response-Southeastern Pennsylvania.
So as you prepare to spread holiday cheer with your wonderful light displays, Liberty and LDR would like to offer these holiday safety tips to help prevent damage to your home as you celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.
A greener tree poses less of a fire hazard. A fresh tree has healthy green needles that are hard to pull from the tree and will not break when you bend the needles in your fingers.
- The trunk of the tree should be placed in water to keep it as moist as possible and to prevent it from drying out and increasing the possibility of a fire.
- If you are looking for an artificial tree, make sure it is made of “Fire Resistant” material.
- When setting up your tree, natural or artificial, be sure to set it up away from fireplaces and radiators, and do not block exits and traffic lanes.
Christmas lights can pose the biggest threat for fire during the holiday season.Check to make sure lights have been tested and approved by a recognized laboratory, also check lights for frayed or bare wires, broken sockets and loose connections. When hanging lights outside, make sure the lights are approved for outdoor use. It is also important to use proper ladder safety when setting up lights outside. Ask for help from family members or neighbors. Lights should be set to a timer or should be shut off before leaving the house or heading to bed.