While the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, there are associated dangers that could take the mirth out of the season, said an expert.
“Fires and decorating-related accidents are among the most notable dangers people need to be aware of during the holidays,” said Joyce Cavanagh, family and community health specialist.
The National Fire Protection Association has identified Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day as the top three days of the year for home candle fires in the U.S., Cavanagh said.
“In addition to candle or electrical fires, Christmas tree fires, although they are not as common, are more likely to do serious damage or result in a death than other home structure fires,” she said.
Cavanagh also noted injuries from placing decorations are also common during the holiday season.
She said some tips to help avoid fires from candles are:
- Keep candles at least one foot away from flammable items or surfaces.
- Do not put candles directly on surfaces. Use a sturdy candle holder with a drip plate for wax.
- Blow out candles when you leave the home or go to bed and avoid using candles in the bedroom or other areas where people may fall asleep.
- Replace candles before they burn all the way down or before the flame gets too close to the holder or container.
- In the event of a power outage, use flashlights or other battery-powered lighting instead of candles.
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