by Casey Holsworth

Tis the Season


It is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us. With all of the magic and joy the holiday brings it is important to be reminded that it also brings an increased risk of fire or loss. So while you are sipping on your hot cocoa and dancing around the Christmas tree while decorating, please remember these tips and reminders for this season so you don’t become one of the statistics below [statistics from the National Fire Protection Association report from November 2017].

Tips and Reminders

  • Chose a tree that is fresh, trim base of tree to increase the tree’s ability to absorb water and water often [if using an artificial tree make sure it is made of fire-resistant material.].
  • Keep tree away from any heat source [fireplace, candles, heat vents, or radiators.]
  • Keep all ornaments and candles out of reach of small children and pets.
  • Inspect electrical cords and light strings and do not overload electrical sockets.
  • Use the appropriate lights [some are only for indoor or outdoor use.]
  • Be sure lights are unplugged and candles are out before leaving the house and/or going to bed.

Statistics [2011-2015]

Christmas Trees

  • S. fire departments responded to an average of 200 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year, causing an annual average of 6 deaths, 16 injuries and $14.8 million in property damage.
  • One in every 32 home fires reported that began with a tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 143 total reported home fires [Christmas tree fires, especially dry or unwatered trees, can turn devastating and deadly very quickly.]
  • Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 40% of home Christmas tree fires.

Decorations and Candles

  • There was an estimated average of 840 home structure fires per year that began with decorations [not including Christmas trees] causing an annual average of two deaths, 36 injuries and $11.4 million in property damage.
  • 19% percent of the decoration fires occurred in December.
  • 55% percent of December home decoration fires were started by candles.

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