The sights and sounds of the holidays are here. A few flurries have been flying, Salvation Army bells are ringing in front of some stores, Christmas lights are being donned throughout neighborhoods, and there are enough opportunities to have breakfast with Santa every single day in December. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s also a period when we see a spike in the number of house fires in and around St. Paul. Here are three top causes of those fires:
According to FEMA, one out of every three Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. While tree fires are rare, they are dangerous. On average, one out of every 31 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death, compared to an average of one death per 144 house fires the rest of the year.
Just like electrical problems are often to blame, so are heat sources. Having your Christmas tree too close to the fireplace, a candle, or a space heater can mean trouble. Again, according to FEMA, one out of four tree fires is caused by that tree being too close to a heat source.
All that said, the National Fire Prevention Association recommends making sure your tree is at least three feet away from any and all heat sources, and not blocking an exit. Only use lights that have the ITL (independent testing laboratory) label, and replace strings of lights where wires are showing or there are loose connections. Always turn your tree lights off before heading to bed, and make sure your tree stays hydrated (we suggest water, not eggnog).
If you’re anything like my mother-in-law, candles are a must … in every room, all lit at the same time. Yes, you get hit with scent overload when you enter her home. And yes, she’s been known to forget to blow one or two out from time to time and awakes in the morning to discover the candle almost melted away and a tiny flame still present.
Anyway, getting back on track, the NFPA says there are four times more house fires started by candles during the month of December than the rest of the year. Four of the five most dangerous days of the year are Christmas, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. The fifth is Halloween.
To reduce the risk of candle-related fires, never leave candles unattended. Also, be sure they are on a sturdy base, and at least a foot away from anything flammable. Want to go worry-free? Go flameless!
Thanksgiving and Christmas are known for family feasts. However, with so many people in your home and so much activity, accidents happen! A pot holder gets set on top of a hot burner, something gets left in the oven, or there is a turkey deep fryer mishap. We suggest making sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand in your kitchen year-round, but especially around the holidays, and making sure your smoke detectors are all working (you did just check those during the time change, right?).
If you do have a fire over the holidays, rest assured 24Restore is just one quick phone call away. 24 Restore is available to work holidays, nights, weekend, 365 days a year to be there for our customers.