Christmas trees and other holiday decorations are a tradition for many, but neglect and misuse can lead to deadly consequences. A dry tree can burn quicker than a newspaper.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 358,5K home structure fires per year during a five year period.
Approximately one of every 326 households per year had a reported home fire. Christmas trees are blamed for 300 home fires every year.
Home fires caused an average of 2,51K deaths (seven people died in U.S. home fires per day), 12,3K injuries, and $6.7 billion in direct property damage per year.
Home fires accounted for 73% of all reported structure fires, 93% of structure fire deaths, 87% of the structure fire injuries, and 68% of direct structure fire property loss.
Where do home fires start?
Just 4% of home fires start in the living room, family room, or den, but these incidents cause 24% of fire deaths and 10% of fire injuries.
More than two of five home fires start in the kitchen. These incidents cause two out of five fire injuries. Besides, 17% of all fire deaths result from kitchen fires.
Only 7% of reported home fires start in the bedroom, but these fires cause almost 23% of fire deaths and 20% of fire injuries.
Fires confined to chimneys or flues account for 5% of all reported home fires. These fires cause very few casualties.
How to prevent Christmas tree, holiday decoration fires
The NFPA recommends paying attention to the following causes of holiday fires:
- String lights that have loose connections, cracked lamps or frayed cords.
- Multiple extension cords that are too long and can get tangled.
- Lights and cords that don't have UL approval.
- Lights that aren't turned off when you go out and before you turn in for the night.
- Outdoor light connectors that are close to metal rain gutters and placed on the ground.
- Candles used to light or decorate a tree.
- Decorating trees that are not freshly cut.
- Trees that are not placed at least three feet away from any heat source.
- Trees that become dry and are not removed from the home after Christmas.
- Christmas tree branches or wrapping paper burned in the fireplace.
- Candles that are not kept at least 12 inches away from anything that could burn.
Christmas trees aren't the only item you need to be careful with. Candles start two out of every five home decoration related fires. The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
Contact a Miami home fire accident attorney
Immediate preservation of evidence and investigation is an essential element in home fire cases.
At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we have the experience you need if a fire loss occurs. Our team will take the steps necessary to determine who is the party responsible for your injuries.
Call and speak with us about any home, apartment, or mobile home fire. We will speak with you for free.