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The holidays are in full swing, and maybe you’ve made an effort to create a fun holiday atmosphere at your place of business. This is very common at all types of establishments, from retail storefronts, to restaurants, to medical offices. Decorating for the holidays is a wonderful way to support employee morale and help customers feel welcome this time of year. However, it’s important to take the right precautions when it comes to the risks of holiday fires. The decorations and other mechanisms we use during the season can elevate the risk of a fire starting. With that in mind, here are the measures to take for protecting your business from a holiday fire.
Be safe with your tree.
If you choose to put a naturally growing tree in your business during the holidays, the first priority is to narrow your choice down to a fresh tree that was cut the day of purchase (even better if it can be cut in front of you). Once it’s in place, it must be watered every day so you can prevent it from drying out (a dry tree is a huge fire risk). Once the tree dries out, take it outside to immediately dispose of it.
Most businesses that put up a holiday tree opt for an artificial one — usually because it can be used every year, but also because it is perceived to be less of a fire risk. This may be true, but it’s important to recognize that an artificial tree is still at risk of catching fire. This is especially the case when using a pre-lit tree. With that in mind, here’s what to know about holiday light safety.
Be safe with your lights.
Artificial trees that come with lights already strung into them have become quite popular. When shopping for a pre-lit artificial tree for your business, you should only buy a brand new, flame-resistant tree with UL certified lights (you can verify this on the packaging). Pay attention to the UL Mark on the tag near the light plug; a green UL tag means the lights are indoor only, while a red UL tag means they are safe for indoors and outdoors both. Whether we’re talking about pre-lit trees or other strings of lights, they should only be used in the environment indicated on the tag/packaging.
Holiday Light Strings
Nothing gives an instant holiday glow to a business like a well-placed string of lights. Before hanging any holiday lights at your business, inspect them for hazardous defects like broken or cracked lamp holders, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
If you see any of these defects, do not use the string.
Be safe with heat sources.
All along the East Coast, we’re grateful for artificial heat sources in the winter; that includes everything from small space heaters to plug-in electric fireplaces. If you use any artificial heat source at your business, follow these safety tips from the Red Cross:
- Place the heat source on a hard, level, nonflammable surface.
- Keep any holiday tree or decorations at least three feet from the heat source.
- Unplug the heat source when not in use.
Candles are also heat sources, even when we are using them to add pleasant seasonal fragrances to the work environment. Whatever your reason for lighting candles this holiday season, use them with caution. Keep candles at least three feet away from the tree and all decorations, and never leave a lit candle burning unattended. Before leaving the room, all candles should be out completely, with no embers glowing.
By following these tips, you can fight the risk of holiday fires at your business. To discuss commercial fire alarms and other fire protection services in the Tri-State Area, call Security Instrument. We will be happy to help.
About Security Instrument
From Fortune 500 to local SMB’s throughout the Tri-State area, Security Instrument integrates custom security systems to meet the needs of commercial clients.