The following is a news release from CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department:
A lot of work goes into preparing for the holiday season; baking, decorating, shopping for gifts. Why not take a little extra time to make your home safe during the holidays by following some easy tips for purchasing, decorating and disposing of your holiday tree? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
- U.S. Fire Departments responded to an estimated annual average of 240 residential structure fires that began with Christmas Trees. These fires caused an annual average of 13 civilian fire-related deaths, 27 civilian fire-related injuries and nearly $16.7 million dollars in direct property damage.
- Electrical problems were factors in 33% of residential Christmas Tree structure fires.
- 13% of home Christmas Tree fires involved decorative lights.
- Candles started 11% of home Christmas Tree structure fires.
- 39% (or two out of every five) home Christmas Tree fires started in the living room, family room or den.
- 18% of home Christmas Tree structure fires were intentionally set. Half of the intentional Christmas Tree fires occurred in January and may have been related to disposal.
“These are staggering statistics”, said CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Chief John R. Hawkins. “If you opt to purchase a live tree, a few simple actions can protect your family from an improperly selected, maintained and disposed of live tree and it becoming the culprit of a dangerous and deadly fire.”
We invite you to view a video clip, also available on YouTube (CAL FIRE TV), with some very important tips on selecting, decorating, maintaining and disposing of live Christmas Trees.
CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department wishes all of our residents and visitors a very happy and fire safe holiday season!