It’s that time of year again when millions of people brighten up their homes, but Allstate's Holiday Home Hazards found home fires increase 15 percent during the holidays.
From decorative lights to Christmas trees, there are many ways to spread joy this holiday season, but experts say, home fires also increase this time of year.
In a matter of seconds, an electrical fire can spread; putting you, your loved ones and your belongings in danger.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, between 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to more than 200 home fires each year that started with Christmas trees. These fires caused an average of seven deaths, 19 injuries, and $17.5 million in property damages annually.
Experts say decorative lights, whether indoor or outdoor, also pose a threat if not maintained properly.
Local fire department officials recommend you throw away older lights and strands that have damaged cords or sockets. They also say, never overload electrical outlets or run extension cords under carpets, across doorways or near heaters.
Another precaution you can take to minimize fire danger is to not use nails or staples to hang your lights, because it could damage the cord’s wire insulation. It’s best to unplug decorative lights before leaving home or going to bed, they say.
Other common causes of home fires during the holidays/colder months include portable heaters, they account for the second leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire deaths.
For more fire safety tips, visit the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshall’s Website.