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Preventing Holiday Home Fires caused by Christmas Trees and Menorahs

happy hanukkahHome fires are nondenominational. Whether you light the menorah or decorate the Christmas tree, take good care this holiday season, more residential home fires occur during the holidays than at any other time of the year.

According to FEMA nearly 156,000 fires in the United States occur during the winter holiday season each year. These fires can be particularly dangerous as ignition occurs so close to a good fuel source — spruce needles or candles.

merry christmasAccording to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas trees, both real and artificial, were the first items ignited in an estimated 300 reported home structure fires per year since 2000. These fires claim nearly 630 lives, cause 2,600 injuries, and $936 million in property damage each year. Stories of menorah-caused home fires are prevalent online, though statistics were not as easy to find.

Some simple precautions can prevent you and your family from becoming a home fire casualty statistic this holiday season.

If you light the Menorah:

  • Place your menorah on a secure table or counter — away from blinds, drapes or curtains
  • Place your menorah on a fire retardant surface — such as a ceramic plate or aluminum foil
  • Keep kids and pets away from flames
  • Do not leave a lit menorah unattended

Christmas tree safety:

  • Keep your tree away from ignition sources such as candles, fireplaces, wood stoves, portable heaters
  • Do not decorate your tree with candles
  • Do not use lights with frayed or broken cords
  • Unplug your tree when you leave the house or go to sleep
  • Keep live trees moist — when the needles start to fall off, it’s time to get rid of your tree

Be prepared this holiday season: check your smoke detectors and make sure your holiday decorations do not block an exit. In the event of a fire, time is of the essence. A blocked entry/exit puts you and your family at risk.

Even if you do take the necessary precautions to protect your family this holiday season, accidents can happen. When they do, call PuroClean. Fire, and the resulting smoke and soot, can very rapidly harm household items, even after the fire has been extinguished. It is imperative to seek help immediately from a professional restoration company, such as PuroClean, to prevent further damage.

“Happy Holidays”, a collective, nondenominational and inclusive wish for the period encompassing Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Winter solstice, Christmas Day (The Nativity of the Lord), Boxing Day (St. Stephen’s Day), the New Year and Epiphany.

Merry Christmas and  Hanukkah Sameakh!

Image credits: green.yahoo.com, vermontchristmastrees.com