Homeowners Take Note! Holiday Fire Risk Increases after Christmas Day
Most homeowners are aware that holiday decorations should be used with care. Each year, statistics tell the story of the fire danger resulting from frayed wires, proximity to heat sources, and lights left on unattended. But SERVPRO of Great Neck Port Washington wants local homeowners to know that the danger of fire cause by holiday decorating, and by Christmas trees specifically, actually increases after the holiday. Research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)* says that, while four out of five Christmas tree fires happen in December and January, the 10 days with the highest average number of fires were all after Christmas Day.
For many families, preparing for the holiday season is a very busy time. Come December 26, it’s tempting to relax; stop watering the Christmas tree, replacing bulbs in outdoor lights or tucking indoor garlands back into place. Dry greens, open sockets and decorations that slip dangerously close to light sockets or fireplaces can all increase the risk of fire in the days after the Christmas holiday.
The American Christmas Tree Association** (quoting Nielsen research) says Americans purchased 21.6 million live Christmas trees in 2011. That number is significant because, according to the NFPA, Christmas trees remain the number one culprit in holiday fires. 43 percent of Christmas tree fires happen in December, but January is close behind, claiming 39 percent – numbers that demonstrate the danger of allowing Christmas trees to dry out during and after the holiday season. Tragically, Christmas tree fires are particularly deadly, claiming on average one life in every 40 fires compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires.
SERVPRO of Great Neck Port Washington encourages homeowners who choose to decorate with live Christmas trees to be diligent about watering their trees both before and after the holidays. If a Christmas tree dries out, it only takes a single spark from a fireplace, a candle flame or carelessly held cigarette to turn a holiday celebration into a tragedy.
As the holiday season moves into full swing, SERVPRO of Great Neck Port Washington reminds homeowners to take precautions based on a clear understanding of the potential danger to help prevent holiday traditions from turning into a holiday nightmare. For more information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPROgreatneckportwashington.com.