Put a freeze on winter holiday fires
The holidays are a time to enjoy the glow of candles and twinkling lights. Unfortunately, it’s also a time where dangerous fires are likely to happen. According to the NFPA, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 790 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees. These fires caused an annual average of 4 civilian fire deaths, 33 civilian fire injuries and $14 million in direct property damage.
- More than half of the home decoration fires in December were started by candles.
- Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable.
- Use flameless candles as a safer alternative.
- Inspect and clean chimneys and heating systems regularly.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and near heating sources.
- Check holiday lights for damage and turn them off when not at home.
- Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries at least once a year.
- Install small alarms in every bedroom and on every level of your home.
- Turn off and unplug space heaters when not in use.
- Don’t overload power outlets or use damaged cords.
- The top 3 days for home fires are Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
- Water natural Christmas trees regularly to prevent them from drying out.
- Be sure to properly dispose of your natural Christmas tree after the holiday. As Christmas trees dry out, they become more and more flammable. Thirty percent of Christmas tree fires were in January.
- Although Christmas tree fires are not common, they can grow very fast.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!