House fires can happen anytime of the year. A few target hazards happen over the next few months.
- One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
- Use tested Christmas lights that are in good condition.
- Don’t modify Christmas lights
- Don’t connect too many light strings
- Use the manufacturer’s recommendation
- 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 structure Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home structure fires.
- A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every four of Christmas tree fires.
- More than half (56 percent) of home candle fires occur when something that can catch on fire is too close to the candle.
- Keep flammables 12 inches away from candles
- Use a nonflammable base for candles
- Extinguish candles when not being used, don’t leave them unattended
The other big hazard during the winter months are flue or chimney fires. Residue is left from fires with restricted air supply, unseasoned wood and, cooler than normal chimney temperatures. The residue catches on fire and can cause cracks in the flue. The fire can catch the roof on fire or the wood around the flue.
- Clean the flue to reduce the residue buildup
- Give the fire plenty of air
- Don’t burn unseasoned wood
- Don’t use water to extinguish the flue fire, it can crack your flue. Call your fire department