Are Increased Fires a Risk Around Halloween?
Fire Danger Increases During Fall Trick or Treating Time
Once known as the “Land of Tall Timber” by the Lenape Indians, Point Pleasant began when European settlers arrived around 1665. A small borough of approximately 19,000 residents, it is considered a summer resort town by many. The families that live there today enjoy participating in seasonal activities such as Halloween and trick or treating. But this time of year can bring fire risks with it as well as fun.
What Causes Fires During This Time?
Autumn is a beautiful time of year. Leaves are turning in many places, the air is getting colder, and pumpkins are everywhere. Fall holidays include celebrating Halloween for many families. But each year, approximately 13 million in property damage occurs due to fires during the Halloween time frame. Families need to be aware of potential fire damage in Point Pleasant as they prepare to enjoy the festivities.
Part of the fun is decorating. Jack O’ Lanterns, hay bales, and scarecrows adorn porches and yards. While they are pleasant to look at, many of the decorations and activities that go hand in hand with the holiday are fire risks. From 2009 to 2013, reported home fires were caused by decorations igniting, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Between 2013 – 2017, 780 residential fires began with decorations. The statistics show:
- 44% of these occurred because the décor was too close to a heat source
- 37% of the fires started by candles
- 21% started in the kitchen
- 16% started in the living room
How Can I Avoid Halloween Fire Hazards?
A tradition that a lot of folks enjoy is carving a pumpkin. And of course, once you get your Jack O’ Lantern finished, you want it to glow and show off your scary face. Candles are often placed inside the pumpkins to create that glow. The problem is a pumpkin sitting inside your home or on your porch with an open flame can easily get bumped, which is a Point Pleasant fire disaster waiting to happen. At SERVPRO, we deal with fire damage regularly, and plenty of them start with something as simple as a candle. Instead of a candle, this year place battery operated tea lights or a glow stick inside your creation. Other ways you can play it safe this year include:
- Dry Decorations– hay bales and straw scarecrows are the perfect fall decorations, but they are also the ideal fuel for fires. Keep highly flammable decorations like these away from open flames.
- Candles– Play it safe with candles. In pumpkins, luminaries, and other lit up decorations, opt for battery operated lights.
- Costumes– Choose costumes for kids that are flame retardant. Outfits with long trailing pieces are at risk of brushing against an open flame and catching fire.
Candle Safety Tips
If you enjoy burning candles at any time of year, you should follow some general safety tips. According to NFPA, December is the peak month for candle-related fires in the home. Over one-third of candle fires begin in the bedroom. These fires are often a result when flammable material is too close to the candle. Here is some information that can aid you in staying safe and enjoy your candles:
- Blow out all candles when you leave a room or before sleeping.
- Keep items at least 1 foot away from the open flame.
- Use sturdy candle holders.
- Do not let the candle burn all the way down to the base.
- Avoid using candles during power outages.
- Keep hair and clothes out of the way when lighting candles.
- Consider using flameless candles.
- Never leave children alone in a room with burning candles.
Be Safe Year Round
SERVPRO recommends installing fire alarms on every level of your home. They should be in more than one area. Consider installing a fire alarm in each bedroom. A fire can quickly destroy a home and lead to loss of life that could have been prevented but something as simple as fire alarms.
If a Fire Does Occur
If a fire does break out in your home, getting professional fire mitigation fast is vital. Even small contained fires can cause extensive smoke damage throughout the entire house. SERVPRO is here to provide fire damage cleanup and restoration if the need arises.
Our families enjoy the holidays just like yours does. SERVPRO wants everyone in the Point Pleasant area to have fun this fall season and stay safe as well. If you experience fire damage, we are ready to mitigate the problem, but we would much rather have you safe at home.
Contact SERVPRO of Point Pleasant at (732) 202-3001 for professional fire damage service. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.