Gilmore has ways to keep your homes safe against common holiday dangers

by Placerville Newswire / Dec 20, 2016 / comments

With the holidays here, homeowners need to be aware of risks that holiday preparations pose on homes. Gilmore Heating, Air, Solar offers advice to  residents on what some of these common holiday hazards are and how to avoid them.

“House fires are very common this time of year,” says Darrin Gilmore, general manager of Gilmore Heating, Air, Solar. “Distracted homeowners can easily overlook certain things because decorating a home for the holidays is fun. Overloading electrical outlets and faulty heating systems pose a great risk for house fires during the holidays.”

Gilmore offers the following tips on how to avoid common holiday hazards:

Holiday lighting and decorations —Inspect holiday lights each year before you put them up. Throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires. Plug Christmas lights into surge-protected power strips and consider using low-wattage Christmas lights to help prevent electrical overload.

Christmas trees —According to the United States Fire Administration, one of every three Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. And on average, one of every 31 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death. Make sure the electrical outlet that you plug holiday lights into is not faulty or will have an electrical overload. If you have a live Christmas tree, water it every day. A dry tree can catch fire more easily.

Heating systems — Make sure your heating system works efficiently before family and friends come into town. It can use a lot of unnecessary energy and pose a safety risk if it is old or poorly maintained. Consider calling a professional to do a routine check-up and give you advice on whether your system needs maintenance, repair or replacement.

Cozy fires — Tossing Christmas wrapping paper into the fireplace may seem like a fun activity, but it is very risky. Make sure your chimney is swept and well maintained before you light it up.

Candles — Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles. The top four days for home candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Smoke alarms — Test smoke alarm functions before your guests arrive and replace old batteries. All smoke alarm batteries should be changed annually.

“The holidays should be fun and stress-free,” says Gilmore. “Make sure your home is safe, and have emergency numbers handy should your home need maintenance and repairs on short notice during the festive season.”