Holiday lights and other decorative lighting with line voltage were involved in an estimated average of 150 home structure fires per year in 2007-2011.
Nearly half of holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.
According to the National Fire Protection Association: Holiday lights and other decorative lighting with line voltage were involved in an estimated average of 150 home structure fires per year in 2007-2011. These fires caused an average of nine civilian deaths, 16 civilian injuries, and $8.4 million in direct property damage a year.
You can keep yourself safe this holiday season by decorating carefully.
The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and Christmas Eve.
Make sure to take basic precautions when decorating your home:
- Choose decorations that are flame-resistant or flame-retardant.
- Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
- Some lights are meant for indoor or outdoor use only. Make sure you are using lights properly.
- Replace any string of lights that has worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
- Read instructions to learn the number of light strands you can safely connect.
- Use clips, not nails, to hang lights, so the cords do not get damaged.
Additionally, you can throw holiday parties safely by:
- Providing plenty of large, deep ashtrays and checking them frequently.
- Considering additional smoke alarms in your home; specifically, a photoelectric type which is the most reliable for smoldering-type fires.
- After entertaining in your home, always check on, between and under upholstery and cushions and inside trash cans for cigarette butts that may be smoldering.