BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX)- Deemed as the most wonderful time of the year, the holiday season is full of colorful lights, fresh winter greens, and festive celebrations! But with these fanciful trimmings and parties come fire risks that can turn this holiday season from festive to tragic in an instant.
Curious as to the common causes of home fires during the holiday season? Here are some quick facts provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in thirty-five percent of home tree fires.
Twenty percent of the decoration fires started in the kitchen
One out of every six decoration fire started in the living room, family room, or den.
The top three days for home candle fires include Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve.
Although uncommon, when tree fires do occur, they are more likely to be serious.
A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly ONE in EVERY FOUR of the fires.
Want to know how you can be fire smart this season? Take note of these fire safety tips from the NFPA:
When picking the tree, choose one with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Before placing the tree in its stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.
Make sure the tree is at least 3’ away from any heat source like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights.
Make sure the tree is not blocking any exits.
Add water to the tree stand – be sure to add water daily!
When lighting the tree, use lights are listed by a qualified testing lab – some lights are designated for only indoor or outdoor use so double check.
Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
Absolutely never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
Always turn off the tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
Once the tree is dry, it is time to discard it! Dry trees are an extreme fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
The City of Bryan will collect trees during your regularly scheduled bulky pick-up service.
For additional fire safety tips for the holidays and in your daily routine, visit the NFPA at www.nfpa.org and the State Fire Marshal’s Office at www.tdi.texas.gov/fire.