While the winter holiday season is traditionally a festive time of year filled with colorful decorations and family gatherings, it is too often a time of tragedy and loss as well. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics indicate that 28% of all home fires and 35% of home fire deaths occur during the months of December, January, and February. These winter fires result from a variety of sources. In 2013, the three leading dates for home structure fires caused by cooking were Thanksgiving, Christmas day and Christmas Eve. Between 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 210 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. And the top three days for home candle fires were Christmas, New Year's Day, and Christmas Eve.
Fire is not the only danger facing families during the holiday season. Injuries resulting from falls are a serious concern this time of year as well. About 5,800 individuals are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for injuries sustained from falls involving holiday decorations. In addition, 4,000 people a year are treated in emergency rooms for injuries associated with extension cords. Half of these injuries involve fractures, lacerations, contusions, or sprains as a result of people tripping over the cords.
The risk of poisonings also increases during the holiday period, resulting not only from common household items, but also carbon monoxide (CO). The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that the majority of CO deaths occur in the colder months of November through February.
Fortunately, holiday home fires, fatalities, and injuries are most often to increase awareness of holiday hazards so that they may be identified and corrected before a holiday tragedy can occur.
For more information on holiday safety, check out the Electrical Safety Foundation International website.
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The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.