With the Holidays upon us, folks will be decorating their houses inside and out, preparint feasts for family and friends, sitting by a cozy fireplace, and unwrapping gifts. While we should all remain vigilant about fire safety year round, the facts are that on average, there are almost 800 structure fires that began with decorations, EXCLUDING christmas trees. On Average there are 4 civilian fire deaths, 33 civilian fire injuries and $14 million in direct property damage.
Here's more to think about:
- Electrical distribution or lighting overload was involved in more than two in five Christmas tree fires.
- One in five tree fires was started by lamps or bulbs and eight percent by candles
- Two of five Christmas tree fires started in the living room.
- While Thanksgiving is the peak for home cooking fires, it's followed closely by Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
- Half of all home fires started by decorations started by candles were in December
To help remind our citizens to have a "fire safe" Holiday Season, the Hinckely Fire Protection District placed a wreath in front of the Hinckley Community Building decorated with red bulbs. If a fire occurs that's determined to be the result of Holiday decorations, a bulb will be changed to white. Here are some of the safety practices to keep in mind during the Holidays:
- Cut 2” – 3” inches of the bottom off of lives trees before immediately placing them in water. Water it daily and don’t place them near a heat source or register. It dries them out faster.
- Don’t connect more than the maximum recommended number of lights to a single extension cord and never run cords under rugs.
- Turn off all tree and display decorations before going to bed or leaving the house.
- Have your chimney professionally inspected and cleaned at least once per year and never burn wrapping paper or cardboard boxes in it. They burn very fast and very hot.
- Remove stockings from the mantel when the fireplace is in use.
- NEVER use lighted candles on a tree.
- Only use candles with sturdy holders on a stable surface, well away from drafts, curtains, children and pets.
With everyone keeping these facts and tips in mind, YOU can help us "Keep the Wreath Red"!