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Winter Holiday Fire Safety

Facts about home holiday fires

  • One of every three home Christmas tree fires is 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 31 reported home structure Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home structure fires.
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every four of Christmas tree fires.
  • More than half (56 percent) 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.

Fire safety fact poster

It’s fun to decorate for the winter holidays, but holiday decorations can increase your risk for a home fire. As you deck the halls this season, be fire smart.

  • Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up.
  • Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.
  • Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
  • If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders, and place them where they cannot be knocked down easily.
  • If you have a real tree, water it every day. If you have an artificial tree make sure extension cords are not overloaded or unsafe.
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