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I don’t know about you, but the holidays are my favorite time of year. It’s the “three f’s” for me- the culmination of family, friends and food are my favorite. Ah… look at that I gave you four “f’s” instead. But there is a fifth “f” that gives cause for alarm – FIRE. Holiday revelry shouldn’t preclude safety. In fact, you may want to be even more vigilant than at other times of the year given the increased risks the festive season can bring. From decorations and candles to cooking for many, the holidays bring unexpected concerns and risks that I want you to keep top of mind.

As the Carrier Healthy Homes Ambassador, I have educated myself on potential fire and CO dangers and wanted to provide you with some fire safety tips for the holiday and winter months:

  • As eye-catching as string lights are, left unattended they can heat up and cause a fire hazard. Consider using LED lights instead to minimize risk.
  • Always unplug lights when you leave a room or the house to ensure that no potential hazards are left unattended.
  • Keep candles away from flammable surfaces, children and pets. Use either flameless LED candles or blow out real candles when you aren’t close by to monitor them.
  • Ensure the smoke and CO detectors in your home are working properly ahead of the holidays. For greater control and peace of mind, purchase the Kidde Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Indoor Air Quality Monitor. It has the modern homeowner in mind, providing whole home interconnectivity and all the capabilities you need to manage your home safety systems with confidence.
  • Don’t use the stove if you’re sleepy or have had too much holiday eggnog or alcohol.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you’re frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from your stovetop.
  • Equip your home with a minimum of two Class A-B-C fire extinguishers on every level, which can tackle all common household fire types, within easy reach to help create a path to safety and prevent a small fire from becoming fatal.

Winter’s colder, frigid temperatures bring the peak period for CO poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year approximately 50,000 people go to the ER due to accidental CO poisoning. Additionally, colder temperatures and winter storms can quickly lead to frozen pipes and unforeseen water leaks, causing costly damage to homes during a month when expenses are already high. Mitigate these unexpected concerns with proactive, simple tips and proper safety resources such as a working CO detector. Safety to-dos to protect your home during the colder months:

  • Check that your ovens or stoves are installed properly; do not use them to heat your homes.
  • Don’t use unvented space heaters or generators in an enclosed space.
  • Ensure your space heater meets the latest safety standards, including an automatic cut-off device and guarding around the heating coils and burners. Position the heater at least three feet away from flammable materials and turn off when you’re not near.
  • Clear debris and open ventilation points, such as chimneys and fireplace dampers.
  • Install Kidde Water Leak and Freeze Detectors around your home, the Wi-Fi enabled device connects to the Kidde App, for notifications to be sent directly to a smartphone when there is a risk of flooding or temperatures dropping too low.

Stay safe this holiday! Follow these important home safety tips this year to ensure you and your family and friends can enjoy the season’s festivities stress-free.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!!