FFD seeks a fire-safe holiday season

| December 19, 2014 | 0 Comments
Soldiers and spouses from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, put their finishing touches on a Christmas tree in the foyer at Fisher House II during a holiday decorating event at the Fisher Houses, Tripler Army Medical Center, last December. (File photo)

Soldiers and spouses from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, put their finishing touches on a Christmas tree in the foyer at Fisher House II during a holiday decorating event at the Fisher Houses, Tripler Army Medical Center, last December. (File photo)

Jeffrey Fernaays
Chief of Fire Prevention
Federal Fire Department

‘Tis the season to be jolly, as the holiday standard goes.

In many homes, this saying means seasonal smelling candles, a trimmed tree or a lighted home displaying holiday colors.

All these signs of the season bring comfort and joy to families, but what you may not realize is that they also bring an increased risk of fire in the home.

In the U.S., fire departments respond to 230 home structure fires caused by Christmas trees every year.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Federal Fire Department firefighters attend to a wildfire that started north of McNair Gate, here, Monday afternoon. The fire affected approximately three acres and was 100-percent contained, July 24. (Photo by Spc. Marcus Fichtl | 8th MI Bde. Public Affairs, 8th TSC)

(File photo)

Statistics explain danger
The United States Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association have gathered these statistics on holiday fires. At home Christmas tree fires cause an average of six civilian deaths, 22 civilian injuries and $18.3 million indirect property damage per year.

On average, one of every 40 reported home structure Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, 43 percent of home fires in December and 39 percent of home fires in January were associated with Christmas trees.

Electrical failures or malfunctions were involved with 32 percent of home fires during the holidays. About 17 percent occurred when a heat source was too close to the tree, 12 percent of these fires were due to a voltage issue with the tree lights and 7 percent of the Christmas tree fires were caused by candles in or around the trees.

ChristmasLights_wSafety tips
Navy Region Hawaii Federal Fire Department encourages all to follow some maintenance and decorating tips to prevent a Christmas tree fire:

•Choose a tree with fresh green needles that don’t fall off when you touch them.
•Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from a heat source.
•Make sure the tree isn’t blocking an exit, and add water to the tree stand, daily.
•Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
•Make sure the tree lights are UL listed and used for the purpose they were designed for, indoors or outdoors.
•Replace any worn lights when bare wires are visible or have been taped back together.
•Always turn off tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
•Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it becomes dry. Dried-out trees are high fire dangers and should not be left in the home, garage or even placed outside along the house.

This is the time of year that we all should take the fire safety procedures we have been taught and be extra vigilant. Do it for your family, so you all can enjoy all the Christmas decorations and your Christmas trees that comes with this great time of the year.

Call FFD
The Federal Fire Department would like to wish everyone a wonderful and happy holiday season and practice good holiday fire safety by having a working fire extinguisher and smoke detectors.

For more information about holiday fire safety, call 471-3303.

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Category: Community, Safety

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