According to the United States Fire Administration, fires during the holiday season claim the lives of more than 400 people. As many as 1600 are injured, and more than $990 million in damage occurs as a result of fires each holiday season.
We all love the sight and smell of a fresh Christmas tree, but here are a few pointers to keep the tree safe. 1. When selecting a tree, make sure the needles are green and hard to pull off the branches. 2. Do not place a tree close to a heat source. 3. Do not leave the tree up too long…two weeks is usually the longest time a tree should be left up.
Inspect lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory. Do not link more than three light strands together. Check the wires to see if they are warm…if so, unplug the lights.
With cold weather, the use of space heaters and the potential hazards associated with them increases. According to fire officials, 10% of fires as a result of space heaters results in a fatality. Of these fires, 30% were the result of combustible material being too close to the heater. 8% were caused when rugs, carpets, or mats were under to too close to the heater. Never leave a space heater unattended of running while you sleep. If you need an extension cord, make sure it is heavy duty.
By following these basic common sense rules we can all enjoy a safe and happy Christmas.