Lights, candles, action- it’s the holiday season again. Brightly lighted decoration, elaborate meals and large gatherings are all apart of traditional holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, these seasonal traditions also cause an average of 230 home fires each year, with an average of 4 deaths, 21 injuries and $17.3 million in property damage.
“Christmas tree lights and candles are just two of the holiday traditions that increase the likelihood of a fire starting in your home, ” says Ted White of SERVPRO of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County. “There are about three times as many cooking-related fires on Thanksgiving Day and almost twice as many on Christmas Day as there are on non-holidays. It only takes a single distracted or careless action to turn a family get-together into a tragedy.”
Homeowners can help keep their homes and their families safe during the holiday season by understanding the dangers and taking some simple, commonsense precautions.
Holiday Cooking Fire Facts
Thanksgiving Day has three times the average number of reported home structure fires involving cooking equipment.
The two other peak days for cooking-related fires are Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
Holiday Cooking Safety Tips
Supervise items on the stove top. Fifty-eight percent of Kitchen Fires involve ranges: homes with electrical cook tops have a higher risk of fire than homes with gas cook tops.
Keep flammable items-potholders, packaging, wrapping, wooden utensils, loose clothing-away from the stove top.
Don’t let lack of sleep or alcohol consumption affect your ability to concentrate on preparing the meal.
Holiday Decorating Fire Facts
Half of all holiday decoration fires start because the decoration is too close to a heat source.
On average, 32 candle fires are reported each day. December is the peak month for candle fires.
Holiday Decorating Safety Tips
Keep all decorations away from heat sources like radiators, portable heaters and fireplaces.
Use flameless candles.
If you do use traditional candles, burn them in sturdy candle holders, well away from the drapes and other flammable materials. Never leave them unattended and never allow them to burn down to less than one inch in length.
Christmas Tree Fire Facts
50% of live tree fires occur between December 22 and January 5.
31% of tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
14% involve decorative lights.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips
Keep live trees well watered to reduced the chance of fire.
Check wiring on lights for breaks ans wear, replace worn strings and don’t exceed manufacturer guidelines for connecting multiple strands of lights.
Don’t leave tree lights plugged in when you are away from home or asleep.
“We hope these tips will be a reminder to area families to make fire prevention a priority in their holiday preparations, so they can spend the season enjoying family and friends, not dealing with the aftermath of a fire.”
For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restorations services, contact Servpro of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County at 203-743-5362.