November 27, 2012, Arlington, Va. — Thanksgiving has come and gone, marking the official start of the holiday season. As families begin observing their annual holiday traditions, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are joining forces to urge the public to make safety a priority for all of their holiday celebrations and activities.
Findings from a recent ESFI consumer survey indicate that more than 80% of Americans decorate their homes as part of their winter holiday celebrations. While holiday lighting and electrical decorations contribute to the splendor of the season, they can also significantly increase the risk of fires and electrical injuries if not used safely. According to the NFPA, an average of 230 home fires begin with Christmas trees each year, with another 160 home fires beginning with holiday lights and other decorative lighting.
“Winter is the peak season for home fires, but these fires can be prevented by adopting a proactive approach to safety,” said Lorraine Carli, Vice President of Communications for NFPA. “Understanding the hazards that are commonly associated with the holiday season and following basic safety guidelines can help ensure that the holiday season is happy and disaster free.”
Each year, ESFI launches a holiday safety awareness campaign to encourage families and communities across the country to Make Safety a Tradition of the winter holiday season. This year, ESFI has partnered with NFPA, the worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety to develop a comprehensive program that educates consumers about the safety concerns prevalent throughout the winter holiday season.
“Electrical problems are factors in one-third of home Christmas tree fires,” said ESFI President Brett Brenner. “Be sure not to overburden your electrical system, and be vigilant for warning signs such as blown fuses or flickering lights that could signify a serious electrical problem.”
Follow these basic safety guidelines from ESFI and NFPA to help prevent serious electrical and fire hazards as you decorate your home and yard this holiday season:
Lights and Holiday Decor
Visit ESFI’s holiday safety website, www.holidaysafety.org, to download the complete “Holiday Survival Guide,” which provides all of the safety tips and tools needed to Make Safety a Tradition for your family this holiday season.