Did you know the risk for home fire increases after Christmas Day? Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show that the days with the highest average number of fires are after the holiday ends, often due to a ‘sigh-of-relief’ syndrome that occurs the day after Christmas.
“For many families, preparing for the holiday season is a very busy time,” says Sue Steen, CEO of SERVPRO Industries, Inc. “Come December 26, it’s tempting to relax and stop watering the Christmas tree, replacing bulbs in outdoor lights and tucking indoor garlands back into place. Dry greens, open sockets and decorations that slip dangerously close to light sockets or fireplaces can all increase the risk of fire in the days after the Christmas holiday.”
Christmas trees remain the primary cause of holiday fires, according to the NFPA. Steen urges those who decorate with a live Christmas tree to be diligent about watering following the holiday.
“When a Christmas tree dries out, it takes only a single spark from the fireplace, a draft that blows a candle flame too near, or a carelessly held cigarette to turn your holiday celebration into a tragedy,” says Steen . “Beyond the damage from the fire itself, a Christmas tree fire, like any fire, can result in extensive smoke and water damage throughout your home, and can even be deadly.”
Steen also recommends other common sense precautions, such as properly disposing of light strands with frayed wires and keeping lights or candles a safe distance from flammable materials or objects.