Winter Holiday Safety & Preparedness

It also means more cooking, home decorating, entertaining, and an increased risk of fire due to heating equipment. The York County Department of Fire and Life Safety would like to help every household be prepared and safe during this winter holiday season. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
  • United States fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 240 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees in 2005-2009. These fires caused an annual average of 13 civilian fire deaths, 27 civilian fire injuries and $16.7 million in direct property damage.
  • On average, 1 of every 18 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 141 total reported home fires.
  • 42% of home Christmas tree structure fires occurred on the 12 days from December 23 through January 3.
  • During 2005-2009, an estimated 12,860 home structure fires started by candles were reported to local fire departments. These fires resulted in an estimated 136 civilian deaths, 1,041 civilian injuries and an estimated direct property loss of $471 million.
  • 2 of every 5 reported home fires start in the kitchen -- more than any other place in the home.
  • Half of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February in 2005 to 2009.
  • Holiday or other decorative lights with line voltage were involved in an average of 150 home structure fires per year, resulting in an average of 8 civilian deaths, 14 civilian injuries, and $8.5 million in direct property damage.