Holiday Fire Safety Tips

December 19, 2017

Festive celebrations, flickering lights and winter greens are hallmarks of the holiday season, but they also present fire risks that can quickly turn this festive time of year into a devastating one.

Winter holiday fires by the numbers

Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in two out of every five (40%) home Christmas tree fires.

More than one-third (37%) of home Christmas tree fires started in the living room, family room, or den.  All of the fatalities and roughly three-quarters (72%) of the injuries resulted from fires started in this area.

The top three days for home candle fires were Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.

Winter holiday safety tips

Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire. Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.

Christmas tree safety tips

As you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly.

Christmas tree & decoration fires

Carefully decorating your home can help make your holidays safer. Between 2009-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 210 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 860 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees.

Christmas tree disposal

Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasing flammable as they continue to dry out in your home. Nearly 40 percent of home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur they’re much more likely to be serious.

In 2014, the three leading dates for home structure fires caused by cooking were: Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. That’s why it’s important to know what you can do to help keep your friends and family safe while entertaining for the holidays.

Put A Freeze on Winter Fires

NFPA and USFA team up each year for the “Put A Freeze on Winter Fires” campaign to remind you that the winter months are the leading time of year for home fires. To help you stay safe, these groups are providing a wealth of safety tips and information on cooking, heating, candles and holiday decorating – factors that contribute to the increased risk of home fires in the months ahead.

Holiday Entertaining

Test your smoke alarms.

Keep children and pets away from lit candles.

Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.

Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.

Ask smokers to smoke outside.
Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.

Before heading out or to bed, blow out all lit candles. Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.

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Category: Updates