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The winter holiday season should be a wonderful time of year. However fires and related injuries associated with holiday decorating are much more common during this season.

Here are a just a few statistics from the U.S Fire Administration website:

  • 905 people die in winter home fires each year.
  • $2,091,000,000 in property loss occurs from winter home fires.
  • 67 percent of winter fires occur in one- and two-family homes.
  • Cooking is the leading cause of all winter home fires.
  • 5 to 8 p.m. is the most common time for winter home fires.

Cooking is the leading cause of house fires, followed by heating. Many of the holidays celebrated at this time of year use candles. Candle fires peak in December and Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve are among the days when the most candle fires occur.

Here are some easy tips you can follow to help avoid house fires:

  • Blow out all candles when you leave your home, leave a room or go to sleep.
  • Don’t leave your cooking unattended. Also using pot and pan covers can reduce the chance of flames that can cause a fire.
  • Remember to use timers when cooking. It is easy to forget about what’s in the oven or on the stove when you have company.
  • Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that can catch fire (including your Christmas tree).
  • Turn off Christmas lights on your tree and home before you leave home or go to bed. Also, consider switching to LED lights. They are cooler and require less electricity.

Happy Holidays!