(NC) Don't let the hustle and bustle of the holidays lead to distraction and accidents. Whether you're hosting a holiday bake-off or an adults-only cocktail party, it's important to remember that safety comes first. To safeguard your home from potential fire hazards, follow these tips and protect your family and guests:
1. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly to make sure they are working. Replace the battery as needed. If the alarms are more than 10 years old, replace them.
2. Have an exit plan in case of fire, and make sure you identify multiple exit points.
3. Check all of your lights before hanging them on the tree or around the house. Throw out any sets that have been damaged or frayed. When purchasing new lights, look for the certification mark so you know the product complies with applicable standards for safety and performance.
4. Use a timer for outdoor lights so they aren't left on overnight.
5. Don't overload power strips with too many appliances or lightstrings. Make sure they aren't covered by fabrics or rugs, and don't leave the wire exposed in areas where it can be damaged.
6. Blow out candles when you are done with them, especially when leaving the room or house. When lit, keep them out of reach of children and pets and never walk with them.
7. Be careful when cooking and don't leave the kitchen if you're using the stovetop. Never leave the house if the oven is on and keep countertop appliances unplugged when you are not using them.
8. Have your chimney swept if you have a wood-burning fireplace, and make sure to use the safety screen when there's a fire going.
9. Fresh is best if you purchase a tree or any green garland. Freshly cut trees are more resistant to ignition and smell wonderful, adding to the entertaining vibe.
10. Keep a fire extinguisher in the house. Hopefully, you won't need it, but it's best to be safe.
For complete peace of mind, consult your insurance provider to make sure you have the appropriate home coverage. Companies like Belairdirect can guide you to assess and understand your coverage needs. Find more information online at belairdirect.com.