Wintertime in Chicago is magical indoors and out. Lights go up, carolers roam the streets, and people are generally a little nicer than usual. Unfortunately, the risk of fire damage and the demand for fire restoration services also increases during the holiday season with the use of lights, Christmas trees and additional electrical stress. In addition to potential damage and disaster in the home, bodily injuries involving holiday decorations have been steadily increasing over the past few years.
The last thing anybody wants is a holiday emergency that turns into a tragedy. Luckily, the experts at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons have a few tips for avoiding the need for fire restoration in Chicago so you can keep your home safe and enjoy the splendor of the season:
Check each set of lights for damage. Make sure your decorative lights are free of broken sockets, bare or frayed wires, and that all connections are tight and well-fitted. Also make sure that your lights have passed the strict requirements of and have been tested by nationally-recognized laboratories.
Use the appropriate extension cord. Indoor extension cords are not meant to hold up to the weather and elements they are exposed to outside. Lights and extension cord will both be marked with labels that specify whether or not they can be used outside. Be sure to use the appropriate outlet as well to avoid the need for fire restoration services.
Keep burning candles within sight. This tip applies to everyday use as well as during the holidays. Keep a close eye on candles, and make sure to extinguish them before you go to bed or leave the house. Only burn candles on stable surfaces that are heat-resistant and clear of other items that may catch fire, such as trees, curtains, furniture, and paper decorations.
Buy the freshest tree you can find. Dry, old trees are much more likely to catch fire, especially with the added heat from all the decorative lights placed on it. When buying a live tree, make sure the needles bend instead of breaking, and that they don’t fall easily from the branches. To elongate the life of your tree, distance the evergreen from fireplaces, and heat vents so that the tree doesn’t dry out too quickly. Keep an eye on the water levels in the tree stand and don’t block any exits or doorways with the tree.
Do not burn wrapping paper. The large amount of paper and the mixture of materials used in wrapping paper may cause fires to take off quickly and burn intensely. The last thing you want is fire damage in your home from out-of-control flames caused by wrapping paper! Check with your local recycling company to see when and where wrapping paper can be recycled, or reuse it for various craft projects in the home.
Remember, just because a label on an item says that it is fire-resistant does not mean that it is not able to catch on fire. The label “fire resistant” just means that it will take longer to become fully engulfed. Be especially careful with items that have fringe, such as the rug placed under a Christmas tree.
Even if you were to follow all these tips to the letter, there is always a risk of a fire disaster in your home because of the additional heat sources and the extra flammable items. If fire damage does occur in your Chicago home this holiday season, know that ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons is here to help combat damage with fire restoration services. Call ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons to get back to normal as soon as possible.
ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is a MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers residing in Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest and the North Shore. For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit servicemasterbysimons.com.