I'm not sure if you know, but I'm married to a firefighter. Yes, I chose someone who could carry me out of a burning building. I sometimes wonder if this choice goes back to childhood because when I was very young, the house across the street burned down on Christmas day because their Christmas tree caught fire. For much of my life as a child, we had a fake (and fire-safe) tree because of this, which is probably the reason I insist on a real tree as a adult. But I've seen those videos of how fast a tree can go up in flames, and honestly, they freak me out a bit.
Anyway, I recently learned about this website Liberty Mutual BeFire Smart and I wanted to share it with you. It has video by celebrities (so if you're a fan of Marcia Gay Harden you're set!), but it also has-- if you put your cursor under the "Parents" and "Children" - a lot of good information to make sure your home is safer as well as an escape route map plan for your family.
At my daughter's school, we're required to do these yearly (we have an awesome fire department here), in fact, all the 3rd graders just got ice cream yesterday for turning them in and another visit from a firefighter. But I've learned that not everyone does these and if you have kids, it's essential you have a meeting place outside the home so you know everyone is safe and accounted for if there's a fire. This is so important for you as well as for the firefighters as they aren't running back into the house to find someone who is already out.
Anyway, with power outages, pretty holiday candles, and drying trees, this has been on my mind lately. I cannot tell you how many calls my husband has gone to because during a power outage, someone has lit up their hibachi inside (not a good idea). He's also had quite a few calls recently about forgotten candles too and space heaters too.
So, just want to give you an fyi on the fire safety and if you have kids, really make sure they know what to do in a fire and that if ever they are in a fire and they see someone dressed in a mask, they are there to help there. (I mention this because this is another technique our fire dept uses --to dress up in full gear so the kids learn not to be afraid of them. Sadly, kids have hidden during a fire because the person coming to save them looks so scary.)
Anyway, I don't want to worry you too much, but this something close to my heart and I think about it a lot more this time of year because of all the extra hazards (yes, you call them decorations and natural swags, I call them hazards-- I know, this is what 15 years of marriage to a firefighter does to someone.) ;-)