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'Project Holiday' launches to educate people on holiday fire dan - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

'Project Holiday' launches to educate people on holiday fire dangers

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There is so much going on during all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, from Christmas trees, to candles, lights, cooking and more, these things can all pose fire dangers. 

Although these are all fun components to the holiday season, people need to be extra aware of the potential hazards these things can cause, so they don't ruin the holiday season. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), holiday decorations, Christmas trees, candles and cooking all contribute to an increased number of home fires during December, making it one of the leading months for U.S. home fires. 

The NFPA is launching it's annual "Project Holiday" campaign, to educate the public about these risks during the holidays, in hopes to minimize them. 

“By knowing where potential fire hazards exist and taking the needed steps to prevent them, people can enjoy the season’s celebrations and traditions while keeping their families, guests and homes safe,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of NFPA’s Outreach and Advocacy division.

The project offers holiday fire safety tips and useful information, along with tools and resources for local fire departments to promote the campaign. 

Here are some holiday-related fire statistics from the NFPA: 

Holiday cooking: While cooking fires are the leading cause of U.S. home fires and injuries year-round, Christmas Day ranked as the third leading day for home cooking fires in 2015 (behind Thanksgiving Day and the day before Thanksgiving, which ranked first and second, respectively.) On Christmas Day in 2015, there was a 72 percent increase in the number of home cooking fires as compared to a typical day.

Christmas trees: Christmas tree fires are not common, but when they do occur, they’re much more likely to be deadly than most other fires. One of every 32 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death, compared to an annual average of one death per 143 reported home fires.

Candles: December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In 2015, the top three days for candle fires were Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve. More than half (55 percent) of the December home decoration fires were started by candles, compared to one-third (32 percent) the remainder of the year.

Holiday decorations: Between 2011 and 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 840 home fires per year that began with decorations (excluding Christmas trees). These fires caused an annual average of two civilian deaths, 36 civilian injuries and $11.4 million in direct property damage. One-fifth (19 percent) of these home decoration fires occurred in December. One-fifth (21 percent) of decoration fires started in the kitchen; one in seven started in the living room, family room or den.

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