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Holiday Fire Hazards: Defective Lights, Decorations & More

The holiday season for most people means turning their household into glowing, festive places of merriment with the help of lights and decorations. Unfortunately, for firefighters and emergency responders, it is also the season of increased calls due to house and apartment fires. Every year, hundreds of blazes of varying size and intensity will breakout in American households between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, a spike caused directly by defective, damaged, or poorly-arranged decorations. If you are going to make your home look great this year with holiday lights and décor, start by making it safe.

Here are some of the biggest offenders of holiday house fires you need to watch out for:

  • Unattended candles
  • Defective fire places
  • Dried Christmas trees
  • Overloaded electrical outlets
  • Broken holiday lights
  • Personal heaters, space heaters, and heated blankets

Share this list with your family members so they know what to spot to prevent a house fire. With everyone being mindful of your decorations, you will decrease your chances of trouble.

This list of five holiday fire safety tips should also prove useful:

  1. Use electric candles instead of real candles if you have small children or pets within your home. New faux candles are even being made that emit a scent when used.
  2. Never hang decorations directly in front of a door or window, which would block a potential fire escape route.
  3. Place natural Christmas trees well away from any heat source. The minimum recommended distance is three feet.
  4. Water your natural Christmas tree once a day to keep it hydrated and less prone to ignition from a stray spark or ember.
  5. Double-check all smoke alarms in your home before you begin cooking any holiday meals.

When a Defective Decoration Starts a Fire

In many holiday house fire cases, the homeowner is not to blame at all for the fire. They exercise every precaution yet a fire breaks out all the same. In such circumstances, it is often found that a defective holiday decoration, such as a string of lights with bad wiring, is the source of the blaze. The product manufacturer would likely be to blame for any damage done to the home and harm done to its residents.

At Habbas & Associates, our San Jose product liability attorneys are dedicated to bringing compensation and justice to people wrongfully injured by dangerous products. If a fire breaks out in your house due to a holiday decoration, we want to know about it. Contact us at any time to set up a free initial consultation.

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