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Holiday Season Fire Hazards
By Jonathan Meyer
As you get ready for the holidays season, you must keep in mind safety in general and fire safety in particular. According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), each year fires occurring during the holiday season injure 2,600 individuals and cause over $930 million in damage.
The following fact are provided by the National Fire Protection Association
- Christmas trees were the items first ignited in an estimated average of 300 reported US home structure fires per year in 2000-2004. These fires caused an average of 14 civilian deaths, 21 civilian injuries, and $16.8 million in direct property damage per year. These statistics include both real and artificial trees.
- On average, one in every 22 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death.
- More than four of every ten home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems or malfunctions. One in four (24%) home Christmas tree fires resulted from a heat source placed too close to the tree. Six percent were started by children playing with fire.
- Holiday lights (or other decorative lighting with live voltage) were involved in 16% of the home Christmas tree structure fires. Fixed or portable space heaters were involved in 6% of these incidents. No equipment was involved in 47% of these fires.
Please Note: These statistics are based on fires that started with Christmas trees and do not include fires starting with other products. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can very quickly become large.
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