Deck the Halls with Safety: Avoid house fires from holiday decorations
Six crucial tips to keep you, your family, and your home safe.
KENNEWICK, Wash. — December, January, and February are the most dangerous months for home fires as they occur more in winter than any other season, according to a Facebook post from the Walla Walla Fire Department. The U.S. Fire Administration said that cooking is the leading cause all year round, but during the winter season holiday decorations are also to blame.
Nearly one in five Christmas tree fires were started by decorative lights, according to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In December, candles were also the cause of 45% of home decoration fires. (NFPA).
Here are the top 6 tips to follow to keep you, your family, and your home safe this holiday while enjoying your decorations.
- Add water to your live tree daily (FEMA). The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), said a dried-out Christmas tree could simultaneously ignite in a flashover in less than one minute compared to a well-watered tree that burns much slower.
- Make sure your tree is at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, vents, space heaters, etc.. (FEMA).
- Keep Candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns (FEMA) or use battery-operated flameless candles. The NFPA said, that three out of every five candle fires started because the flame was too close to a flammable object like furniture, bedding, curtains, or other decor.
- Replace any lights or string of lights that are worn down, broken, or loose (NFPA). It’s always important to read the manufacturer’s instructions and check the maximum wattage, especially when connecting multiple strings of lights together or in an extension cord. A good rule of thumb from the CPSC is, “do not use more than three three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.”
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed (American Red Cross).
- Don’t light the fireplace if you have stockings or decorations hanging on the mantel. (American Red Cross).
“Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in almost half of home Christmas tree fires.” –NFPA
Consumer Product Safety Commission also recommends that the holidays are a good time to review an emergency plan with your family if there is a fire in your home. Don’t forget to double-check all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well. It’s always a good reminder for parents to keep lighters, candles, matches, breakable decorations, or any potential dangerous decorations away from children and pets. For additional holiday safety tips visit, click here.
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