Did you know home fires happen more during the winter months than any other season? And most home fires occur during the months of December, January and February? The risks of home fires increases exponentially during the winter.
3 reasons: Heating, cooking/entertaining and decorating.
Heating equipment is to blame for 1 out of every 6 reported home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The use of heating equipment is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire deaths. As the temperatures drop outside we’re indoors more, and using more heating equipment.
During the winter months we’re cooking more, particularly during the holiday seasons when we’re entertaining. Thanksgiving leads as the biggest day for cooking fires. There are three times as many fires on Thanksgiving as on any other day of the year. Cooking claims the top spot as the main cause of home fires. Unattended cooking is a major reason, but about 67% of fires start when food or another cooking material is ignited (grease fires, etc.).
While a less minimal factor, decorating with candles, Christmas trees and holiday lights increases the chance of a home fire. Half of all holiday decoration fires happen because the decorations were placed too close to a heat source. Two out of every five home decoration fire is started by candles. December has the most home candle fires, with the top three days for candle fires being Christmas, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. In most cases, combustible materials were placed too close to the candles.
Christmas tree fires make up fewer of the winter fire causes, but when they do happen they are serious, resulting in death in about one of every 18 cases. Shorts in electrical lights or an open flame placed too close to the tree are most often the cause behind a tree fire. A well watered tree actually poses very little fire risk, but a dry tree ignites easily when exposed to a flame.
Watch this video to see the shocking flammability of a wet tree vs a dry tree
Watch a short video from the NFPA about their Put a Freeze on Winter Fires campaign to educate the public about the fire risks during winter months. The campaign is meant to educate the public about the fire risks during the winter months. In the next few months the campaign will provide important tips to keep the public safe from fires during the winter months.
For more about winter fire prevention tips, visit the NFPA’s website.
*All facts and figures provided by the NFPA
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Photo Credit, Ada Be