HOLIDAY SAFETY INFORMATION

 

The holidays should be a time of fun with friends and family, not tragedy resulting from a preventable home fire. The Falcon Fire Protection District offers the following information to ensure you and your family have a safe and pleasant holiday season.

General Holiday Safety Tips

Holiday Lights

  • Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
  • Turn off all light strings and decorations before going to bed.

Candles

Did you know? The top three days for home fires involving candles are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

  • Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can give the look and smell of real candles.
  • If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders, and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns.

Holiday Entertaining

  • Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
  • Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.

 

Keep Those Live Christmas Trees Watered!

How important is it to keep live Christmas trees watered? Watch this video from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to see the difference hydration can make if a tree catches fire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZk4vIXCnc8

For a complete list of Christmas tree maintenance tips, go to the National Christmas Tree Association: http://www.realchristmastrees.org/dnn/AllAboutTrees/CareTips.aspx

 

Stuff for Kids

Parents – are you looking for activities to keep the kids entertained? Check out Sparky the Fire Dog’s Project Holiday page. Scroll to the bottom for printable pages including a “Mad Lib” game, connect-the-dots, coloring pages, and more. Go to: http://www.sparky.org/parentpage/parents.htm

 

Winter Holiday Fire Statistics

Have you ever wondered how many fires result from Christmas trees, decorations, and other holiday activities? Check out these Winter Holiday Fire Safety Statistics.

Christmas trees

  • Between 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 210 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of 7 deaths, 19 injuries, and $17.5 million in direct property damage annually. 
  • On average, one of every 31 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home fires.
  • Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 38% of home Christmas tree fires.
  • Twenty-two percent of Christmas tree fires were intentional. 
  • Two of every five (39%) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room, family room, or den.

(Source: NFPA's "Home Structure Fires Involving Christmas Trees" report, November 2015)

Holiday decorations

  • U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 860home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees, in 2009-2013. These fires caused an annual average of one civilian fire death, 41 civilian fire injuries and $13.4 million in direct property damage.
  • Ten percent of decoration fires were intentional.
  • The decoration was too close to a heat source such as a candle or equipment in nearly half (45%) of the fires.
  • One-fifth (20%) of the decoration fires started in the kitchen. One out of six (17%) started in the living room, family room or den.
  • One-fifth (20%) of the home decoration fires occurred in December. 

(Source: NFPA's "Home Structure Fires Involving Decorations" report, November 2015)

Candles

  • Candles started 38% of home decoration structure fires. 
  • Half (51%) of the December home decoration fires were started by candles, compared to one-third (35%) in January to November.
  • The top three days for home candle fires were Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve.

(Source: NFPA's "Home Structure Fires Involving Decorations" report, November 2015)

Holiday cooking

  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in 18% of home decoration fires. This can happen when a decoration is left on or too close to a stove or other cooking equipment.

(Source: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment" report, November 2015)

Fireworks

  • Ten percent of fireworks fires occur during the period from December 30 through January 3, with the peak on New Year's Day.

(Source: NFPA's "Fireworks" report, June 2016)