For most, the holidays are a time meant for spending time with friends and family. With, annual Christmas parties, office parties and whatever, else you might do for the holiday. Its supposed to be a cheerful time, meant to be spent with the one’s you love. It is a time where our family and friends surround most of us. It is the season for cheer, lavish decorations, parties, holiday cooking, gratitude and gift giving.
Unfortunately, it also happens to be the season for house fires.
Where the once cheerful holiday magic and laughter, that’s now replaced with grim memories; destroyed by fire and layered with ash and soot.
There are many holiday fire hazards out there; do you know what to do in order to prevent your family from becoming a grim memory? Below, we have pointed out the six (6) most common and dangerous Holiday Fire Hazards.
- Unmonitored candles –Candles tend to smell great, but you have to keep an eye on them as they burn. Don’t ever leave a burning candle alone in a room. Otherwise, a stray wick may end up causing a fire. Either keep a close eye on candles, or opt for battery-operated options instead.
- Dry Christmas trees – A major reason for the push to use faux trees during the holiday season is because dried pine needles can be a major fire hazard when combined with candles, fireplaces, or other similar Christmas-y goodies.
- Too many lights holiday lights in one single socket – The beautiful part about electricity is that it lets us hang up a slew of different Christmas lights. When people have only one socket they can dedicate to their light displays, it’s common for them to come up with MacGuyver-esque solutions to this issue, which incidentally can overload the socket and cause a fire. Surge protectors are great things, people!
- Frayed Christmas light wires – Even though we only use Christmas lights once a year, frayed wires do happen. An errant spark is all that needs to happen for those wires to turn into an electrical fire. Check your Christmas light wires before you plug them in, and discard any lights that have shoddy wiring.
- Drunken antics – This may seem out of the blue for some, but the truth is that alcohol and fire simply do not mix. One drink too many has convinced plenty of people that a new cooking style, new fire trick, or new way to celebrate was apropos. There are a good number of those ideas that were later put out by their local fire department. In other words, partying responsibly will reduce the chance of you lighting your own home on fire.
- Unattended or sloppy cooking – Some holiday dishes do require a lot of time on the stove, and when one follows the recipe correctly, this is never an issue. The issues arise when people forget to turn down the heat, allow pots to boil over, or simply flambé their dishes a little too enthusiastically. Make sure that you are careful when cooking your holiday dinners – especially if you choose to deep fry a turkey!
Facts About Home Holiday Fires
- One of every three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
- Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 40 reported home structure Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home structure fires.
- A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every six of Christmas tree fires.
- More than half (56%) of home candle fires occur when something that can catch on fire is too close to the candle.
- December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.