The most festive time of year is also one of the most fire-prone for single-family homes, according to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) research. While many homeowners may be aware that lighted Christmas trees pose a fire risk, there are other safety concerns with holiday décor. Consider:
• One-fifth (20%) of annual home decoration fires occur in one month: December.1
• During December, most home decoration fires start in the living room, family room or den. The rest of the year, these fires typically start in the kitchen.1
• Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 40 reported home structure Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home structure fires.2
What can homeowners do to reduce their risk of fire?
Awareness is key, since burning candles placed too close to decorations are the source of many fires. Electrical problems also cause one out of three Christmas tree fires2. FEMA and the NFSA recommend these tips:
• Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns.
• Make sure trees are at least 3 feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents.
• Connect no more than 3 strands of mini light sets.
• Connect no more than 50 bulbs for screw-in light sets.
• Dispose of your tree after Christmas or when it becomes dry.
Making the case for home fire sprinkler systems
Of course, all the fire awareness in the world can’t prevent the unknown. With fire risk increasing as decorations go up, single-family homes are a prime candidate for fire suppression systems, constructed with BlazeMaster® pipe and fittings. These systems are proven to help contain house fires and provide the crucial extra minutes needed to get out safely. In fact, installing a BlazeMaster Fire Sprinkler System cuts the risk of dying in a house fire by 97%—a 50% increase over smoke detectors alone. Plus, BlazeMaster doesn’t detract from the beauty of a home: modern residential sprinklers are inconspicuous and can be mounted flush with ceilings/walls or even concealed.
Homeowners may not be aware of how economical a fire suppression system can be. Installed, BlazeMaster often costs less than home improvements such as cabinet upgrades or new carpeting and can help reduce homeowners’ insurance premiums. They’re also smart: only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, and only when it detects fire – not smoke.
Awareness and preparedness – both go a long way in helping keep single-family homes and their occupants safe this holiday season. For more information on the benefits of BlazeMaster, visit BlazeMaster.com.
1 Source: NFPA, Fire Analysis & Research Division, www.nfpa.org, email@example.com
2 Source: U.S. Fire Administration www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/holiday.html