Now that the holidays are upon us, there are a few very serious points we want to touch on. According to the Red Cross, almost 47,000 fires occur during the holiday season and claim around 500 lives each year. There are also around 2,200 injuries from these fires and they end up costing around $554 million in damages. This is something that happens every year and we all need to do our best to ensure that these numbers go down. Some of you may have heard about the large fire in Cambridge, MA that occurred only a little while ago. Unfortunately, around this time of year that is not an uncommon headline.
The Red Cross states that candle fires are four times more likely to happen during the winter holiday season. Always be sure to keep an eye on any candles that may be burning and never leave them unattended, even for a second. If you are leaving the room, be sure to blow them out and the second you start to feel drowsy from all the food or eggnog, make sure they are all extinguished. Also, never let kids play with fire, matches, lighters, or candles. An average of 40 house fires a day are caused by children playing unsupervised.
The Red Cross suggests making sure that any decorations are placed at least three feet away from any open flame or radiator. If you have a real tree, be sure to keep good care of it, as on average, one out of every 22 fires that start because of a tree result in at least one death. Make sure they are kept watered and the needles are nice and green. Make sure that any lights you use are in good condition and that the wires are properly insulated. Never use live candles to decorate a tree, as again they are very flammable. Make sure that your tree, real or fake, is kept in a solid stand that will prevent it from tipping over. Keep children and pets away from the tree to help reduce the risk of damage and fire. Always turn off or unplug all lights before you leave home or go to bed as well. Most importantly, make sure your smoke detectors are working correctly! They can reduce your risk of fire related death by half.
The holidays are a wonderful time of the year, however they can also be dangerous. Please keep these safety tips in mind to keep your season from turning into something you'd rather forget.