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Looking for ideas to share in this month’s community newsletter? Considering highlighting important tips to keep your residents safe this holiday season. While some of these tips might seem like common sense, it never hurts to share friendly reminders! Here are some key safety tips worth sharing.

Christmas Trees

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 160 home fires that started with a Christmas tree each year. Trees tally up over $10 million in direct property damage annually. Fires started by trees are more likely to be deadly, as one in every 52 fires that began with a tree resulted in a death compared to 1 in 135 home fires.

Follow these tips to keep your tree, home, and family safe:

  • Test your lighting equipment as this is the main cause of tree fires. Avoid using old lights or strings with frayed or exposed wires.
  • Keep trees away from heat sources, like candles, fireplaces, vents, and radiators, as this causes 25% of tree fires.
  • Unplug the lights on your Christmas tree before going to bed each night.
  • Take care of your tree! Be sure to water it frequently and trim branches with dead needles.
  • Toss your tree out shortly after Christmas.

Decorations

Similar to trees, holiday decorations can pose as a fire hazard when proper precautions aren’t taken. U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 780 home fires that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees, between 2013-2017. Being too close to a heat source is the main cause of decoration fires, and the majority of these fires (21%) start in the kitchen.

Candles

What do Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve have in common? They’re the top three days for home fires caused by candles. 60% of candle fires were started by something being too close to the candle, including decorations, furniture, curtains, or bedding. While we’d never encourage you to avoid using candles, make sure to do loops throughout the house each night ensuring all candles are blown out.

Fireworks

We shared tips about the dangers of fireworks around July 4th and encourage communities to leave the shows up to professionals. NFPA reports that 10% of firework fires occur between December 30 and January 3. Send out a reminder to residents letting them know rules around fireworks in your HOA, as well as local laws to discourage usage.

Falls

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), 5,800 people were treated in emergency rooms for falls associated with holiday decorations. The majority of these falls occurred from ladders or roofs while decorating outdoors. More and more companies are popping up each year that handle holiday decorations, including light displays. Encourage residents to skip the risk and hire professionals to decorate their house.

Does your community have a plan in place when an incident, such as a house fire, occurs? If not, download our free Incident Response Guide today!

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