Monday, December 19, 2011 - 3:53am
The hustle and bustle of the holidays is upon us, but as you rush through your to-do list, make sure the list includes safety.
Holiday cooking, decorations and colder weather can combine to increase the potential for home fires and other hazards.
•During 2005-2009, an estimated 12,860 home structure fires started by candles were reported to local fire departments. These fires resulted in an estimated 136 civilian deaths, 1,041 civilian injuries and an estimated direct property loss of $471 million.
•Two of every five reported home fires start in the kitchen more than any other place in the home.
•Half of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February in 2005-2009.
Although Christmas tree fires are uncommon, when they do occur, they are often serious; one out of every 21 reported Christmas tree fires results in a fatality. One-third of Christmas tree fires occurred in January.
That's because the longer Christmas trees are in the home, the more they dry out and become fire hazards. So in addition to keeping trees well hydrated, it's important to monitor the tree and dispose of it before it becomes dry enough to pose a hazard.
When it's time to take the tree down, get it outside and away from your house. In Madison, there are plenty of options for Christmas tree disposal through the Streets Division: http://www.cityofmadison.com/residents/winter/residents/tree.cfm
There's more information available regarding safety strategies for the holidays by visiting www.cityofmadison.com/fire. Just click on the ornament.
- Lori Wirth(608) 266-5947