Home fires unfortunately jump each winter holiday season. The numbers are stark: approximately 150,000 fires occur this time of year, claiming 630 lives and $936 million in property damage. Home candle fires occur most frequently on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
In response to the increase number of fires during the holidays, the American Chemistry Council’s North American Flame Retardant Alliance (NAFRA) has partnered with Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit group devoted to safe and healthy housing, to educate people about steps they can take to combat the danger of holiday home fires.
Launching today, the “Celebrate Safely” campaign will run for the entire month of December. The campaign includes a website—www.celebratesafelycampaign.com —where families can receive information on ways to prevent fires and stay safe.
The campaign revolves around 5 easy-to-remember tips:
- Decorate Safely. Choose decorations that carry a UL or CSA label, indicating that they have been tested for fire safety. Also, the American Red Cross recommends placing Christmas trees and holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, heaters, and candles.
- Cook Safely. Be careful in the kitchen by keeping oven mitts, towels, and wooden utensils away from stoves and ranges.
- Observe Safely. Never leave burning candles unattended and keep your Christmas tree hydrated.
- Play Safely. Make sure kids don’t play with matches and lighters by keeping these materials out of reach.
- Entertain Safely. Let guests know about fire exits and ensure smoke detectors are spaced throughout your home and functioning properly.
NAFRA and Rebuilding Together have developed the above infographic with tips that individuals can share with friends and neighbors, and even hang up in their apartments or buildings. Throughout the month, @AmChemistry and @RebldgTogthr will be tweeting tips with the hashtag #CelebrateSafely.
We wish families a happy and fire-safe holiday season.