Christmas should be a season of joy and festivities but the previous years have shown that it could turn into a season of sadness and loss.
Every year, a significant number of fire incidents during the Christmas season are responded to by MCFRVI. Several Christmas traditions increase the risk of fire incidents in a home.
By following a few sensible safety measures, everyone can celebrate and enjoy the season without having to worry about the risks of fire.
Defective and/or substandard Christmas Lights arguably remain to be the number one cause of fire incidents in the season. If a Christmas light is not outdoor-rated, keep it inside. Use only outdoor-rated power cords and outlets to prevent shorts and surges. Most importantly, make sure that the Christmas light you use particularly indoors bears the PS marking of the DTI or the ICC markings for imported lights. Make sure that the power wires are not too thin for the load and that the power sockets could not be bended with your fingers.
While most Christmas decorations need electricity, be sure to keep within the power ranges of your electrical outlets. Be careful not to overload your circuits as this may lead to your household appliances breaking down or worse, a fire. Be sure to turn off and unplug electrical decorations before you go to bed.
No Christmas is complete without a lighted tree. That said, without proper care, Christmas trees can pose fire hazards. Check lights for damage before using them to adorn your tree and keep cords away from pets who may chew on them. Never install electric decorations that have worn or exposed wirings.
Christmas cooking, parties, reunions and family dinners mean people spend a lot of time cooking. Add to the distractions and stressors of the season, increased kitchen time can create an often overlooked fire danger. Tired hostesses may forget to unplug now-empty crock pots. A cook rushing to get the ham out of the oven might grab up a convenient dish towel that can catch in a gas oven’s flame. Take time to unplug appliances and turn off ovens and burners. Use oven mitts or potholders to remove casseroles. Tie back long hair and push back dangling sleeves.
While the preceding are just some of the most common fire risks during the season, use of proper and basic common-sense could and would be a lifesaver.
In case of fire, call the Association of Philippine Volunteer Fire Brigades at 522-22-22.