Burn Center at SCVMC Offers Holiday Fire Safety Tips to CommunityTweet Share Santa Clara County, CA – Each year, home structure fires caused by cooking happen on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. That is why knowing what you can do is important. Keep your family, loved ones and friends safe when you entertain this holiday season. Facts about home holiday fires
- Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
- Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 31 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home fires.
- One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
- A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four of Christmas tree fires.
- December is the peak time of year for home candle fires, and one-third of all candle fires start in the bedroom.
While the staff of the Burn Center at SCVMC have the specialized expertise to take care of you if you have burn injuries, they would prefer that you never needed their services. Here are some tips for a safe holiday.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking so you can keep a close eye on the food, especially when frying and cooking with oil.
- Inspect your electrical decorations for damage before you use them. Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.
- Do not overload electrical outlets. Overloaded outlets and faulty wires are a common cause of holiday fires. Avoid overloading outlets and plug only one high-wattage appliance into each outlet at a time.
- Keep tree fresh by watering daily. Dry trees are a serious fire hazard.
- Use battery-operated candles. Candles start almost half of home decoration fires (NFPA).
- Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights. More than three strands may not only blow a fuse, but can also cause a fire.
- Keep combustibles at least three feet from heat sources. A heat source that was too close to the decoration was a factor in half of home fires that began with decorations. (NFPA).
- Protect cords from damage. To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors or windows, placed under rugs, located near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples.
- Check decorations for certification label. Decorations that do not have a label from an independent testing laboratory have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous.
- Turn off, unplug, and extinguish all decorations when going to sleep or leaving the house. Unattended candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires. Half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. (NFPA)