One of the most common holiday traditions is decorating your home for Christmas. Be sure to use caution when decorating your Christmas tree, hanging lights and burning candles. The NFPA estimates that from 2007-2011, decorations were the item first ignited in an estimated average of 920 reported home structure fires per year. Check out this video on Fire Safety Tips from the NFPA.
- Between 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 230 home fires per year that started with Christmas trees. These fires caused an average of 6 deaths, 22 injuries and $18.3 million in direct property damage annually.
- On average, one of every 40 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in death, compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires.
- Electrical problems were factors in 32% of home Christmas tree structure fires.
- Christmas tree fires are more likely after Christmas than before the holiday.
- The risk of fire is higher with natural trees than artificial ones. However, researchers found that those kept moist are unlikely to catch fire unintentionally.
- Holiday lights and other decorative lighting were incolved in an estimated average of 150 home structure fires per year.
- Electrical failures or malfunctions were factors in 64% of the fires involving holiday or decorative lights.
- The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year's Day and Christmas Eve.
During the holidays, many increase the amount of cooking they do. While Thanksgiving is the leading day for cooking fires, you should be careful each holiday and all year round. Cooking is and has been for some time now, the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries. Take a look at these cooking related fire statistics from the NFPA:
- From 2007-2011, fire departments responded to an estimated average of 156,600 home structure fires in which cooking equipment was involved.
- These fires caused an average of 400 civilian deaths, 5.080 reported civilian fire injuries and $853 million in direct property damage per year.
- Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires.
- Two-thirds of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
- Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidences accounted for 15% of the cooking fire deaths.
- Ranges accounted for the largest share, 57% of home cooking fire incidents, while ovens accounted for 16%.
- More than half of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
- Overall, cooking related fires accounted for two of every five reported home fires, 38% of reported home fire injuries, 16% of home fire deaths and 12% of the direct property damage resulting from home fires.
During the Winter months, be sure to keep fire safety in mind as you're heating your house. December, January and February are the leading months for home heating fires. Overall, heating equipment is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire deaths according to the NFPA. Check out these heating equipment fire facts and figures from the NFPA:
- Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for 33% of home heating fires and 81% of home heating fire deaths.
- The leading factor contributing to home heating fires was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
- Placing things that can burn too close to heating equipment, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding, was the leading factor contributing to ignition in fatal home heating fires and accounted for 53% of home heating fire deaths.
Here are some tips from NFPA for getting ahead of the winter freeze:
- Make sure your furnace has been inspected and serviced by a qualified professional during the last 12 months.
- Have your chimneys and vents cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional. Be sure to check for built up creosote.
- Be sure to only use dry, seasoned wood in your fireplace or wood stove.
- Check your fireplace screen to ensure it is in good condition and secure in its position in front of the fireplace. Make sure the screen is made of metal or heat-tempered glass.
- Dispose of cooled ashes in a covered metal container. The ash container should be kept at least 10 feet from teh home and any nearby buildings.
- Make sure your children know to stay at least 3 feet away from the fireplace, wood/pellet stove, oil stove or other space heaters.
- Only use portable space heaters that have an automatic shut-off. Plug them only into an outlet, rather than an extension cord and place them at least 3 feet from anything that can burn.
- Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they are working properly.
Your Lake of the Ozarks roofing company urges you to keep these facts in mind when decorating, cooking and heating your home this holiday season. Happy Holidays from the crew at Above & Beyond Roofing!
At Above & Beyond Roofing, we pride ourselves on being locally owned and operated, being open 7- days a week, and we turn the average roofing job in one day! Contact Ben or Melissa for a free estimate on your next project at 573-302-0354!
Be sure to LIKE us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, Connect with Melissa on LinkedIn and Subscribe to our Blog!!