Firefighters say this time of the year is peak season when it comes to house fires. There are many different reasons why the threat of fires in your own home increases during the holiday season, but one firefighter says it's all about catching potential fire dangers.
Santa Maria Fire Captain Ron Butterfield says the holiday season brings more house fires for a variety of reasons. The primary cause? Cold weather.
"With the cold weather, people are running their heaters and fireplaces," says Butterfield.
Butterfield says heater malfunctions cause numerous fires this time of year.
"Especially in older homes that have floor heaters," says Butterfield. "They are very dangerous."
Christmas trees are another culprit. The U.S. Fire Administration says 240 house fires are caused by Christmas trees each year.
By the time Christmas has arrived, the trees have already dried out quite a bit, making it very easy for them to catch on fire. And according to Butterfield, candles and decorative lights near the trees often cause these fires to break out.
"Especially older lights, when the wires have gotten old or maybe have frayed a little bit," says Butterfield.
Since Christmas trees are very dry by the time Christmas rolls around, Butterfield recommends getting rid of them as soon as possible.
"Once Christmas is over, some people like to keep them up until New Years, but get the decorations off, get the trees outside and that's where its going to be more safe," says Butterfield.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, holiday house fires are the cause of 21 deaths annually and over $25 million in damage.
Thursday, May 23 2013 1:29 AM EDT2013-05-23 05:29:02 GMT
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