Many people will be pulling out those holiday decorations this weekend, and the American Red Cross has a few fire safety tips to keep in mind. Officials say the holidays represent the busiest home fire season of the year. The average number of daily house fires for the American Red Cross will double during the holiday season, going as high as four each day. If you’re using a live Christmas tree, keep it watered daily and make sure the tree is far away from any source of ignition such as a space heater or candle. Overloaded circuits are the cause of many home fires during the holiday season, so use lights according to the instructions. More people will also be in the kitchen cooking for holiday parties and family gatherings, so never leave the kitchen area while cooking because a fire could break out. You should also have a working fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it, and keep children and pets away from the cooking areas. December is the leading month for home candle fires, with twice the average number of incidents. Candles should be secured in a sturdy holder on a flat surface out of a child’s reach, and the holder should be big enough to collect the dripping wax. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
Each year, hospital emergency rooms treat about 13-hundred people for injuries related to holiday lights and 62-hundred people for injuries related to holiday decorations and Christmas trees. Christmas trees are also involved in about 400 fires each year. Officials say working smoke detectors should also be placed outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of the home because an early warning can save lives.