Holiday Fires and How to Avoid Them

against-the-wind-1548802-1280x960-300x225The holiday season accounts for some of the highest numbers of household fires in the country. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve holidays account for the largest number of household candle fires in the US.

Festive candles, decorative lighting, and heavy-duty cooking during the holiday season provide plenty of opportunities for a quick fire to break out. In fact, between 2011 and 2015, fire stations across the United States responded to an average of 200 home fires each year originating from burning Christmas trees alone. Not all of these fires were completely harmless. Six people died in holiday blazes that originated with tree fires during this period of time.

Electrical lighting was linked to approximately 40% of all Christmas tree fires reported in the United States. Approximately 36% of fires were linked to home candle fires. The Christmas and New Year season also witnessed a large number of household fires linked to cooking-related accidents.

Not only is a home fire during the holiday season extremely upsetting, but it is also expensive. Holiday fires between 2011 and 2015 caused more than $14 million in property damage.

As you ring in the holiday joy and cheer, ensure that your family members enjoy a safe holiday season. Always buy a fresh Christmas tree instead of a dry one. A dry tree takes less than 30-seconds to burn down completely. Make sure that you water the tree regularly as this can significantly reduce the possibility of a tree catching fire. Keep your tree away from heat sources, like fireplaces. If you are buying an artificial tree, make sure that it is made of flame-retardant material.

Decorative lights are a major source of holiday fire accidents and burn injuries every year. Inspect your lights before you put them up, and make sure that they are not hazardous or damaged. Throw out lights that come with broken or damaged wires, and avoid using nails to pin wires when hanging lights outside. Remember to take down the lighting and Christmas tree soon after the holiday season.

If you have lit candles around the house, make sure that you do not have inflammable material lying around. Candles must only be set on a firm, solid base, and blow out all candles in the house before you go to bed or leave the house. Never leave candles unattended.

Hot stoves are very common during the Christmas and New Year season. These fires often begin when towels and oils are placed very close to a cooktop.

Make sure to inspect all your smoke alarms and smoke detectors before the season.

The holidays are no time for an urgent trip to an emergency room after a burn injury. This holiday season, follow basic precautions to reduce the risk of a fire in your home.

The Indiana injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent all persons injured in accidents across Indiana.