This Thanksgiving weekend, a fire broke out in East Flatbush. It's reported cause was a faulty power strip. That fire claimed the lives of two and injured five others. At press time, it's not known if it was just a simple electrical failure or if it could have been avoided, but it's a stark reminder of the dangers that could befall a family that's careless about plugs, outlets and extension chords.
A survey from insurance company Allstate showed that more than half of all American adults admit that they have plugged too many lights into one outlet. According to the survey, the data shows a distinct spike in property claims during the holidays, so make sure you don't become a statistic.
Electricity isn't the only fire hazard either. The same survey found that 29 percent of Americans have left a real Christmas tree without water for more than three days – a dry tree is highly flammable – and more than 25 percent of Americans have left the house or fallen asleep with candles burning. Twenty-four percent have done the same with a fireplace.
It may seem simple – extinguish all fires before you leave – but with endless shopping lists, family visits and a million other things on the mind, something as simple as basic fire safety often falls to the wayside.
This holiday season, make sure your home and decorations follow all safety and fire regulations, make sure your fireplace, if you have one, has been cleaned or inspected and remember to extinguish all flames. You could be saving your own life and the life of a neighbor.