SERVPRO Press Release

Restoration Service Provides Holiday Safety Tips

SERVPRO shows residents how to light the night without igniting a fire

GALLATIN, Tenn. (Grassroots Newswire December 1, 2009) -- If your home, like millions of other households in the United States, includes a Christmas tree and festive holiday decorations, you should be aware that the breathtaking beauty of the decorations also comes with a fire risk. That is why Rick Isaacson, executive vice president of SERVPRO Industries, Inc., is offering helpful tips to people as we enter the month of December. 

"Basking in the glow of a warm fire or relaxing in a festively decorated home or office building may actually present a formula for a hazardous situation – if you don't take the proper precautions," Isaacson said. "We want to show people how to keep their night before Christmas from becoming a nightmare before Christmas!" 

Candles and Christmas trees have been reported to be two of the contributing factors of fires during the winter months. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Christmas trees account for an estimated 200 fires annually and cause more than $6 million in property damage. Candles alone cause an estimated 15,600 fires each year, causing 1,270 injuries and more than $539 million in property damage. December is the peak month for candle fires, and Christmas is the peak day. 

The following are a few tips for individuals to consider when putting up and maintaining their holiday decorations this December: 

• Do not overload power outlets with holiday lights. Pay close attention to the 
manufacturer's instructions on the number of lights you can string together. 
• Consider using battery-operated flameless candles. 
• Be careful not to splatter wax when extinguishing a candle. 
• Use flashlights instead of candles for emergency lighting. 
• Do not purchase a Christmas tree that is dry or dropping needles excessively. 
Be sure to water your Christmas tree regularly. 
• Do not use strings of lights that are worn, frayed, manually spliced or broken. 
• If you purchase an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled fire-retardant. 
• Do not link more than three light strands unless the directions indicate it is safe. 
Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the 
outlet. Be sure to periodically check the wires; they should not be warm to the 
touch. 

"While holiday decorations can provide plenty of charm and cheer with assorted bright lights, Christmas trees and life-size Santa Claus figures, it is our responsibility to inform people of potential dangers. We, too, want to see the glowing lights that are symbols of the winter holiday season, but we also want the country's communities to be safe," Isaacson said. "No matter what their reasons are for celebrating this month, we want everyone to enjoy the month of December safely." 

If a fire disaster does strike your home, SERVPRO offers services to help people quickly recover and restore any damaged property. Within four hours of the initial notification, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be on-site to start the mitigation process. Exceptions may apply under certain conditions. 

For more information on SERVPRO, please visit www.servpro.com.

About SERVPRO 
Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO franchise system is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,500 individually owned and operated franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss situations. Providing coverage in 48 states, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners. All SERVPRO franchises are independently owned and operated.