December 27, 2013
Inevitably at this time of year, we see headlines about holiday fires as this season of celebration involves heavy traffic, excessive electricity use, and extreme weather. The latest disaster comes from my corner of the country, where a dog alerted a family to a Christmas tree fire that claimed $85,000 worth of damage to their home.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology reports that Christmas tree fires are relatively rare (right around 210 per year), but that fatalities associated with those fires are disproportionately high. In other words, the chance of a tree fire in your home may be low, but if it happens, you have a greater chance of dying. Yikes. And if you really want to give yourself a scare, watch the video on their site showing a dry Christmas tree catching fire and consuming a whole room in less than a minute.
Live trees aren’t the only culprits. Pre-lit artificial trees, candles, and home baking all increase the chance of a home fire during the holidays, so be particularly careful this year.
Both FEMA and the National Fire Prevention Association provide helpful tip lists for avoiding holiday fires in your home. You can also check out our blog post to Make a Fire Escape Plan and download this pdf on home fire safety.
The only thing we want burning this season is the Yule log!