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The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is traditionally a time of great expectation for family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy the season and maybe relax before the start of a new year. It is also a time for increased calls for service in the fire service. Remember to “Candle with Care” and keep fire safety in mind when doing your holiday decorating. Here is some information from the National Fire Protection Association.
U.S. fire departments respond to an estimated average of 780 home structure fires per year that begin with decorations, excluding Christmas trees. These fires cause an annual average of 3 civilian fire deaths, 34 civilian fire injuries and $12 million in direct property damage.
One-fifth (21%) of the decoration fires started in the kitchen. Sixteen percent started in the living room, family room or den. One out of every three-candle fires start in the bedroom. Three of every five (60%) candle fires started when something that could burn, such as furniture, mattresses or bedding, curtains, or decorations, was too close to the candle. Keep decorations at least 3 feet away from any heat source. Never leave candles burning unattended. Open flame candles and decorations do not mix. The two peak days for candle fires were Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Consider electronic candle alternatives. Have flashlights and battery powered lighting available in case of a power outage, to avoid using candles! Safety is no Accident.