Avoiding Holiday Disasters
It's the holiday season again. Brightly lit decorations, elaborate meals, and large gatherings are all a part of holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, these annual traditions also cause an average of 230 homes fires each year, with an average of 4 deaths, 21 injuries, and $17.3 million in property damage.
There are about 3 times as many cooking related fires on Thanksgiving Day and almost twice as many on Christmas Day as there on no holidays. Luckily, homeowners can help keep their homes and their families safe during the holiday season by understanding the dangers.
Holiday Cooking Fire Facts from SERVPRO
- 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 from SERVPRO
- Supervise items on the stovetop. Fifty-eight percent of kitchen fires involve ranges; homes with electric cooktops have a higher risk of fire than homes with gas cooktops.
- Keep flammable items – potholders, packaging, wrapping, wooden utensils, loose clothing – away from the stovetop.
- Don’t let the lack of sleep or alcohol consumption affect your ability to concentrate on preparing the meal.
Holiday Decorating Fire Facts from SERVPRO
- 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 from SERVPRO
- 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 candleholders, well away from 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 from SERVPRO
- 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 from SERVPRO
- Keep live trees well watered to reduce the chance of a fire.
- Check wiring on lights for breaks and 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.