Be Merry, Bright, & Safe: Holiday Fire Prevention Tips

Like it or not, winter is here in Minneapolis – and Jack Frost is likely feeling quite at home, unlikely to make an exit for months. While many people say they dislike winter, there is no denying it also ushers in a magical season – with Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and winter family fun like skiing, sledding, skating, and so on. Or, if you’re like many of us at 24 Restore, it’s hockey season!

However, cold weather and more time in doors also means an increase in the risk of house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of all winter house fires, and many of them happen around dinnertime – between 5 and 8 p.m.

Sadly, NFPA also says an average of 905 people die in house fires each winter, and fires during this time of year cause more than $2 billion in property damage. Two-thirds of them occur in one or two-family homes, while the rest occur in multi-unit settings.

Check out this video by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to see just how quickly a natural Christmas tree can burn when it’s dried out. Wow – less than a minute for it to be totally consumed. Just imagine how quickly that fire can spread through the house then during dry winter months.

Our first fire prevention tip for the holidays: keep your tree watered!

Back to stats from the NFPA, holiday decorations cause about 860 house fires every year between 2009 and 2013, Christmas trees excluded! Decorations too close to a heat source – like a candle or the fireplace – sparked nearly half of those fires. Twenty percent started in the kitchen, and one out of six started in the living room, family room, or den. One in five house fires started by decorations inside a home (holiday or otherwise) happen in the month of December.

Tip 2: Keep decorations away from heat sources!

Thanksgiving is the first holiday we celebrate in the winter months (unless you count Halloween which, let’s face it, sometimes feels and looks like the dead of winter when there is an early snowfall or temperature plunge!) Anyway … Thanksgiving is the #1 day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, then Christmas Eve. Remember that decoration bit we just talked about? Well – 18 percent of cooking fires involve decorations catching fire because they are too close to the stove or other cooking equipment.

So … when you’re cooking, be mindful of the environment around you. Be sure to turn off the cooktop or oven when it’s not in use, and keep decorations clear of any and all heat sources.

Lastly, let’s talk about candles. Who doesn’t love a wonderful smelling pumpkin or cinnamon spice candle burning during the holidays? For many of us, scents are part of the magic of the holidays! However – back to that whole discussion about decoration fires, half of those fires were started by candles during the month of December. That stat drops 15 percent in November and January – so it’s clear candles are used much more regularly around Christmastime.

The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve.

As always, exercise common sense when lighting candles in your home. Make sure decorations are far away from the flame, and the candles aren’t within reach of children or animals. Also, be sure to blow out the candle before leaving the house or heading to bed!

If you’ve been known to forget this to blow out candles or turn off decorations, just set an alarm on your phone for right around bedtime to remind you to double check everything before heading to bed.

“24Restore came within an hour of our water damage to assess the problem and restore and reconstruct our kitchen and my office. Everyone from 24Restore was professional, kind and did an outstanding job of damage assessment and restoration.”

- Barbara R.

Your service was excellent. The young man was thorough and very dedicated to completing the job. He’s a good one. I would recommend your services to anyone who need them.

- Keith

Your team has been absolutely amazing, professional, sympathetic and wonderful. They took my mess and made it manageable as I shed a few tears, which they also consoled with empathy. At a time when we have floods and tornados city wide you responded within hours. Thank, I am impressed and I have passed the word on to many.

- Genie

Very good experience……everyone I dealt with through 24 Restore was very professional and very kind.

- Nancy

This note is a note of thanks and appreciation of the services provided…..we could even say our home looks better than before we incurred our water damage…Job well done!

- Jay and Susan

I don’t often take the time to write a follow up complimentary letter. However I was very impressed with 24 Restore and felt they went above and beyond to surpass expectations with WOW service. Thank you for the great service and great job that your team did to get my house back in shape.

- Jane

I have recommended them to many of my friends. They are the only service that I have ever used that always gets my stains out and that clean my carpets beautifully. I can’t say enough good thins about them

- Laura

Thank you for all the work put in to get out home……It would have been an impossible task for us to have accomplished in such a short time. We appreciate all that you have done for us! We are so grateful!

- Ken and Kathe

Yes. I appreciated the ability to funnel all activities thru a one-stop shop proved to be very valuable in a disaster project such as ours demo, construction and finish as well as work directly with insurance company. The team has been professional and those on site have been respectful of our home and schedule.

- Reed

Alex did a great job scheduling, coordinating, and keeping me informed. He made sure that everything was done in a timely manner. I always felt that my job was a priority. All the workmen did a great job and were very polite. I am pleased with the results. I would highly recommend your company!

- Linda – Minneapolis

From the time of initial contact to the time of job completion was 24 hrs. Very pleased with job outcome. Will definitely use you again. If ever in need.

- Kevin – St. Paul

Response time was awesome. We we’re bewildered by what was happening and what needed to be done. 24hr came in and took care of what needed to be done.

- Susan – Plymouth

I thought 24 was very professional and timely work.

- Veronica – Lake Elmo

24Restore was very responsive and did a thorough job plus they cleaned up after themselves.

- Jean – St. Cloud

The job was exceptionally well done. You were recommended to me by Dennis Carlson, a freind and I would definatley refer 24restore to friends and family.

- Jan – Anoka

Very Professional!

- Gordon – Andover

Everyone was on top of everything and got back to me in a reasonable time. Clean up was done absolutely perfect at the end of each job.

- Pam – Arden Hills

The guys who worked here were great, polite, personable and hard workers. They did a great job! So thankful this is over!

- Ron and Jackie – Minneapolis

Working with the employees at 24restore has been an easy process. They aimed to please.

Kudos to Shelli Abraham especially, she worked with the mortgage company and insurance company so I didn’t have to, I’m a caregiver for my husband with Dementia, she took the pressure off having to deal with them, thanks Shelli.

- Sharon and Ray Kelly – Maple Grove MN
Over 2000 Reviews!