The upcoming winter holiday season should be a joyous time of year. My wife Marsha said the area stores are getting a real early start. So I too must get a quick start advocating home fire safety. From my own limited experiences I have found that there are certain types of fires and injuries associated with holiday decorating.
Christmas tree fires
In 2006-2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 230 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees. Home Christmas tree fires caused an average of four civilian deaths, 21 civilian injuries, and $17.3 million in direct property damage per year. Although these fires are not common, when they do occur, they are unusually likely to be serious. On average, one of every 66 reported home structure Christmas tree fires resulted in a death compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home structure fires. Nearly half of the home Christmas tree structure fires were in December and one-third were in January. Fifty percent of home Christmas tree structure fires occurred on the 15 days from December 22 through January 5. Electrical failures or malfunctions were involved in one-third (31%) of the home Christmas tree structure fires. Nearly one in five (18%) occurred because some type of heat source was too close to the tree. Decorative lights on line voltage were involved in 14% of these incidents. Nine percent of home Christmas tree fires were started by candles. Nineteen percent of home Christmas tree structure fires were intentionally set. Nearly three-fourths (72%) of the intentional Christmas tree fires occurred in the 15 days after Christmas and may have been related to disposal. The risk of fire is higher with natural trees than artificial ones. Researchers found that dry natural trees burned easily but trees that had been kept moist are unlikely to catch fire unintentionally.
This is also a very interesting opinion that I am expressing from my very unofficial findings and that is electrical failures or malfunctions are factors in two-thirds (69%) of the fires involving holiday or decorative lights. The squirrels ate my lights around my garden this summer just chewed through the wiring. Make sure nothing is eating away at your wiring in your attic or basement!
1,375,000 fires were reported in the U.S. during 2012.
One civilian death occurred every three hours and 4 minutes. This is amazing!
One civilian injury occurred every 32 minutes.
A fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds 480,500 structure fires occurred in the U.S. during 2012.
Home fires involving cooking peak on dates that are major U.S. holidays with traditions of cooking, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Christmas Eve. Thanksgiving had three times the average number of reported home structure fires involving cooking equipment. Households that use electric ranges have a higher risk of cooking fires and associated losses than those using gas ranges. The vast majority of reported cooking fires were small. Four out of five were confined to the object or vessel of origin. However, 10% of the cooking fire deaths and 41% of the cooking fire injuries resulted from these small fires. Almost two out of five (38%) home cooking equipment fire deaths and 85% of home cooking equipment fire injuries resulted from the 96% of fires that were confined to the room where the fire began. Not surprisingly, two-thirds (67%) of home structure fires involving cooking equipment began with the ignition of cooking materials, including food. Fat, grease, cooking oil and related substances were first ignited in half (52%) of the home cooking fires that began with cooking materials. Three of every five civilians who were non-fatally injured in reported home structure fires involving cooking equipment were hurt while they were trying to fight the fire. Don’t be a hero call the 911 and get the family out the house!
Thank you Ted Ciuba www.ThinkRichRadio.com