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Fire Safety and Apartment Holiday Decor

There's nothing cozier than a Christmas tree this time of year. Strings of lights, fireplaces and scented candles also help to make an apartment feel special during the holidays. Unfortunately, though, these additions can also increase the odds of a fire occurring. A dry tree can be engulfed in flames in as little as 30 seconds, making it one of the biggest fire hazards a person can bring into their homes.

If your residents are keen on bringing a little Christmas cheer to their homes, Cal Bay Property Management's Scott Safadi recommends reviewing the potential risks associated with holiday decor with your tenants. Consider issuing a holiday newsletter with tips, or just sent out a quick email reminding folks of the potential for danger.

Be sure to include tips like:

Invest in a live Christmas tree that's as fresh as possible. Take down the tree within four weeks though, as it tends to dry out quickly and become more likely to catch on fire. Artificial trees are also a good option and present very little fire risk. When you're buying a fake tree, be sure you're getting one that's labeled flame retardant for best results.

Inspect strings of lights before plugging them in or hanging them. Be on the lookout for loose bulbs, cracked wires or broken sockets. When connecting long strings of lights, don't risk linking more than three at a time. Always invest in good quality surge protectors and avoid using any that are suffering from wear or tear.

Clean your fireplace regularly. Soot hardens on the inside of your fireplace and can be dangerous. Have your chimney inspected to see if it needs cleaning. At the very least, be sure to sweep out embers into a metal container after a fire and set them outside for at least a day before disposing of them.

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management

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