Holiday Fire Safety Tips
While the winter holiday season is traditionally a festive time of year filled with hearty meals, colorful decorations, and family gatherings, it is can also be a time of tragedy and loss as well. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics indicate that 30 percent of all home fires, and 38 percent of home fire fatalities occur during the months of December, January, and February. That's nearly 47,000 fires, which claim the lives of more than 500 people, and injure 2,200 people every year.
Thanksgiving Fire Safety
In 2013 Thanksgiving Day was the leading date for home cooking fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), with 1,550 fires. That's 230 percent more than the average number of fires per day that year. Annually, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed only by Christmas Day, and Christmas eve. For those who fry a turkey on Thanksgiving, check out this demonstration video, brought to you by State Farm, and follow a few important safety tips below:
Turkey Fryer Safety Tips:
1. Avoid oil spillover--don't overfill the pot!
2. Turn off flame when lowering the turkey into oil.
3. Fry outside, away from the house.
4. Properly thaw the turkey before frying.
5. Keep a grease-fire-approved extinguisher nearby.
Christmas Fire Safety
Christmas trees and candles are two of the most dangerous components that tie into holiday fires. In fact, one out of every 22 fires caused by a Christmas tree, results in death. The simple fact remains: having working smoke alarms reduces fire fatalities, by 50 percent. So, now that your stockings are hung, your tree is dazzling, and your fireplace is crackling and cozy, is your home holiday fire safe?
*Image courtesy of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Common Sense Holiday Fire Prevention Tips:
- Do not overload electrical outlets.
- Do not run cords under carpets, rugs, furniture, or out a window.
- Limit or eliminate the use of space heaters, which result in more than 21,000 fires each year.
- Keep all decor at least 3-feet away from an open flame; this includes stockings hung on a mantle.
- Never leave candles lit and unattended. Consider using flame-less or battery-operated candles to set the perfect holiday scene.
- Have chimneys inspected annually and never leave a fire burning without supervision.
- Live Christmas trees must be watered daily to avoid drying out. Or, if you go the artificial Christmas tree route, look for a “Fire Resistant” label when purchasing.
- Inspect all decorations and discard any damage or worn items.
- Use LED lights when decorating, which are more energy efficient than traditional incandescent lights, but do not produce heat, which in turn can create fire hazards.
- Always turn off all decorations when you’re not home, or asleep.
Elf on a Shelf
Fire Safety Video
The Flower Mound Fire Department has teamed up with the Town's Community Affairs Division to highlight holiday fire safety through the short video below.