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Virginia Farm Bureau Information Center

Holiday Electrical and Fire Safety

Holiday Electrical and Fire Safety

Perhaps it’s no surprise that fires caused by candles spike on Christmas Day, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Increased use of replaces, holiday cooking, and overloaded electrical cords also play a part in making winter the most prevalent season for home fires.

Before you roast any chestnuts, clean your fireplace and chimney. Dirty chimneys can have dangerous levels of creosote build-up, the highly combustible byproduct of regular fires. A chimney fire might produce a loud popping noise, lots of dense smoke, and an intense, hot smell—or give no warning signs at all.

In addition to a clean chimney, keep your home fireproof with these safety measures:

  • Plug portable space heaters directly into an outlet—don’t use an extension cord—with three feet of breathing room around them.
  • Put out all candles before you go to sleep.
  • Keep a flashlight and fresh batteries handy for power outages to avoid fumbling with matches in the dark.
  • Check holiday light strings for how many can be safely strung together—and stick to the limit.
  • Make sure extension cords meet or exceed the power supply needs before you plug into them.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking to monitor things, especially if you’re deep-frying part of your holiday dinner.

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