With the holiday season upon us, many are using this time to enjoy relaxation and even time with loved ones after experiencing the shut downs of 2020. While the pandemic is not yet over, many states across the nation and countries around the world are expecting families and friends to gather together. While COVID-19 has been at the forefront of our minds for the past two years, there are other dangers that we must be aware of when the holiday season comes.
Increased Fires During the Holidays
According to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), there is an increase in residential fires during the holiday season due to decorations. Indeed, a FoxNews 59 report states that data from the U.S. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) shows that between 2015 and 2019 American fire departments responded to approximately 790 residential fire accidents that were started by holiday decorations – not counting Christmas trees. An additional 160 home fires were responded to annually within the same time frame because of Christmas tree fires. Each year between these two types of fire accidents there is approximately $23 million in property damage, 92 deaths, and 38 people who suffer injuries. The NFPA reports that the leading days for home fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
General Safety Tips for the Holidays
While the holidays create a higher risk of fire accidents and injuries, there are several things you can do to keep yourself and your family safe.
When it comes to holiday decorating, be sure to:
- Choose decorations that are flame-resistant;
- Keep lit candles away from items that can burn;
- Use lighting appropriately – some are for indoor or outdoor, but not both;
- Replace broken or worn strings of lights as well as loose bulbs;
- Use clips instead of nails to hang lights to avoid damaging the cords;
- Blow out all lit candles when you go to bed or leave the room;
- Turn off all lighted decorations and light strings before going to bed or leaving home;
When it comes to holiday entertaining, be sure you test your smoke alarms before having guests over and inform them about your home fire escape plan in the event of an emergency. Additionally:
- Keep pets and children away from lit candles;
- Place all matches and lighters up high and in a locked cabinet;
- When cooking on the stove top, be sure to remain in the kitchen;
- Ask any smokers to smoke outside, keep their smoking materials with them at all times, and provide large and deep ashtrays;
When it comes to Christmas trees, be sure to:
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not shed when touched;
- Cut two inches off the base of the trunk before putting it on the stand;
- Keep the tree at least three feet away from any heat source such as radiators, candles, and heat vents, lights, and fireplaces;
- Do not block an exit with the tree;
- Be sure to water the tree on a daily basis;
- Use lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
We Can Help You
If you have suffered a fire accident during the holiday, or any other accident, do not try to fight with the insurance company on your own. Let the skilled Las Vegas accident attorneys at H&P Law fight for the monetary compensation you deserve so you can focus on recovering. Contact us today to schedule your initial case evaluation.