Crackling fires, twinkling lights, and scented candles are signs of the holiday season, but they also produce fire risks that can turn fun celebrations into tragic catastrophes. While damage to your home and personal items is awful, the real threat of a fire is burns. These injuries are among the most excruciating and traumatic for a victim, as required medical treatment is painful and the recovery period is extensive. Plus, the scarring and disfigurement from burns can also lead to considerable emotional distress. To reduce the threat of burns and related injuries, here are some holiday electrical fire safety tips to protect your family.
Statistics on Injuries Due to Fires Around the Holidays
Data collected by the National Fire Protection Association demonstrates that fires during the holiday season are more common than many people assume. Many of the sources of holiday fires are expected, yet the frequency is alarming considering the fact that they are quite preventable.
- From 2009-2014, fire departments in the U.S. responded to an annual average of 210 residential fires caused by Christmas trees. Many of these fires were linked to real trees that had dried out.
- During that same time period, it is estimated that fire departments also fought fires at approximately 860 homes per year that were caused by other decoration sources.
- Christmas tree fires cause an average of six fatalities, injure 16 people, and lead to almost $15 million in property damage every year.
- In 2014, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were in the top three dates for fires related to cooking and baking.
- Electrical and lighting equipment are linked to around 40 percent of Christmas tree fires in homes.
- Heat sources too close to the tree, such as candles or exposed wiring, were a factor in 80 percent of holiday fire fatalities.
- Candles are to blame for approximately 36 percent of holiday decoration fires.
- Around 10 percent of fireworks fires throughout the year occur between December 30 and January 3.
Safety Precautions to Avoid Fires
Proper care in decorating and monitoring the common sources of holiday fires can help you and your family avoid devastating injuries. Therefore:
- Keep your Christmas tree well-hydrated and dispose of it as soon as the holidays are over. Almost 40 percent of home fires that are caused by trees happen in January, when the trunks, branches, and needles are severely dried out.
- Toss old strands of lights and decorations.
- Only use lights that include the label of an independent testing lab, and follow directions regarding indoor versus outdoor use.
- Never light a Christmas tree with lit candles.
- Always turn off lights before heading out or going to bed.
- Make sure fire extinguishers are handy when cooking, especially when frying.
- Never leave kitchen equipment unattended when cooking or baking.
Discuss Fire Injuries with an Experienced Lexington Personal Injury Attorney
At Walker Morgan, our South Carolina burn injury lawyers have represented many fire injury victims and helped them recover compensation for their losses. After a review of your medical records and other information, we can tell you more about the best strategy for your case. If you have questions or want to find out more about your options for financial compensation, please contact our office today.