The Scary Truth About Holiday Fire Hazards
“It’s all fun and games till someone gets hurt!” is the scary truth about holiday fire hazards. The National Fire Protection Association estimates an average of 240 home fires every year begin with the Christmas tree. Unfortunately, these accidents cause an average of 13 deaths, 27 injuries and $16 million in property damage each year.
However, the scary truth about holiday fire hazards does not end with the Christmas tree. Holiday lights caused 150 home fires with an average of 8 deaths, 14 injuries and $8 million in property damage each year. We don’t mean to scare you away from decorating your home at this very happy season. We just want to make you aware of these accidents so that you can avoid them.
Main causes of Christmas tree fires:
- Those who have a real Christmas tree need to water properly. Without frequent watering, the tree will dry up faster and will be more susceptible to catching fire. When you buy your tree, check the needles. Fresh green needles are hard to pull out. If the needles fall easily, move on to another tree.
- Even if you buy a fresh tree and water it regularly, be sure to keep the tree at a safe distance from any heat source. Heat sources that commonly dry out your tree faster are: radiators, candles, space heaters, fireplaces and heat vents.
- If you choose to buy an artificial tree, be sure it is fire resistant. It will say so on the box! If you’re not sure if your current tree is fire resistant, it would be wise to replace it.
Main causes of holiday light fires:
- Check your lights for damages. Check each string for cracked sockets, frayed or loose wires and loose connections. If you see any of these, replace them immediately.
- Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. They usually include where they can be used – indoor or outdoor. Use the correct bulb wattage – too high a wattage can cause an electrical fire. Also be sure how many can be connected end-to-end.
- Do not leave any holiday lights on when you leave the house. As much as you want to impress the neighbors or be in the holiday spirit – do not keep them on 24/7.
So stay safe and the scary truth about holiday fire hazards won’t be true for you!