Tips to prevent house fires during the holidays

12/11/2013 5:55 PM

12/11/2013 5:55 PM

During the holidays people put up Christmas trees and do a lot of cooking.

The National Fire Protection Association cautions that each of those special things have caused a lot of house fires. From 2006 to 2010, fire departments in the U.S. have responded to an estimated annual average of 230 fires in homes started by Christmas trees.

They resulted in deaths and an estimated $17.3 million in damage, the association reports. Cooking in 2011 caused an estimated 156,300 home structure fires, which claimed 470 lives, caused 5,390 injuries and $1 billion in property damage.

The National Fire Protection Association asks people to take a few precautions to stay safe over the holidays. They include:

• Make sure Christmas trees are at least three feet from any heat source such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.

• Add water to the tree stand daily to keep the tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.

• Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing lab. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.

• When baking, roasting or boiling food, check the oven or stove top regularly and remain in the home while food is cooking.

Stay safe and enjoy the holidays.

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