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Home Fire Safety Tips
By Gregory Kramer, Allstate

Langhorne, PA - According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than one third of home fire deaths in the U.S. occur during the winter months.

"No time is a good time for a fire," said Gregory S. Kramer, an agency owner with Allstate Insurance Company. "However, consider the holiday season, a time to share with your family and friends, and how much more devastating a home fire would be."

Kramer offers you the following holiday fire safety tips and encourages you to plan ahead with loved ones to prevent a fire tragedy.

Cooking: Most home fires start in the kitchen, so use special caution when preparing holiday meals. Keep towels and napkins far away from open flames. Children should never be near a hot stove. Turn handles of your pots and pans inside where children can’t reach them. Keep a fire extinguisher under the kitchen sink.

Christmas Trees: Trees that aren’t kept moist are a serious fire hazard. When you bring your tree home, cut about an inch off the end of the trunk. This will remove the dried end and allow the tree to absorb water. Put your tree in a stand designed not to tip over, and water it daily.

Holiday Lights: Always unplug tree lights before leaving home or going to sleep. Don’t overload electrical outlets; a short circuit could cause a fire. Keep gifts from touching lights or electrical wires.

Candles: Candles pose a serious threat because they attract children. Don’t let children play with candles, and lock up matches and lighters. Don’t display lighted candles in your windows or near curtains. Under no circumstances is it safe to use candles to decorate Christmas trees.

Wrapping Paper: Never place wrapping paper on a table with candles. Dispose of wrappings quickly after opening presents. A room full of paper lying around on the floor is a fire hazard.

Children: Most importantly, talk to your children about fire safety. Allstate has fire safety education materials tailored for children and families. The materials contain a fire prevention quiz and a family escape plan children can customize for their home. Just a small amount of time spent rehearsing a family escape plan may mean the difference between life and death in a fire.

Greg Kramer