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Holiday Fires Start In The Kitchen, Decorations


Festive meals, holiday lights and decorations are all hallmarks of the holiday season. However, Christmas trees, candles, electrical decorations, and cooking all contribute to an increased number of home fires during December, making it one of the leading months for home fires.

Spokesperson Lisa Braxton from the National Fire Protection Association says the hub-bub around the holidays can turn into a fire...

"They may be distracted by family and friends. They may be chatting with guests and forgetting they have something in the oven or on the stove. They may not be as careful as they usually are. We want people to enjoy the holidays,but also think about safety at the same time..."

She says don't be afraid to ask for help...

"...Be aware of your surroundings. Assign people to help you. Designate someone to answer your door. Choose someone to pay attention to the children. Carry a wooden spoon with you to remind you that you have food in the oven or on the stove. Use a timer. Smart phones have timers and this will remind you that food needs to be checked...."

Braxton says food causes many holiday fires...

"If you're cooking and you have a small fire on your stove you can slide a lid onto the pan and it will put out the fire. If you have a small fire in the oven, turn the oven off and keep the oven door closed. If it's a fire you can't contain, go ahead and leave. Make sure your guest are leaving through an exit to a safe meeting place outdoors...."

One of every 45 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death. More than half of the December home decoration fires were started by candles. U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 800 home fires per year that began with decorations. These fires caused an annual average of two civilian deaths, 34 civilian injuries and $11 million in direct property damage.

More information is at the National Fire Protection Association website at nfpa.org

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