Yuma, Arizona - The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is traditionally a time of great expectation for family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy the season and maybe relax before the start of a new year. It is also a time for increased calls for service in the fire service. Remember to “Candle with Care” and keep fire safety in mind when doing your holiday decorating.

Here is some information from the National Fire Protection Association.

U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 780  home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees, in 2013-2017. These fires caused an annual average of three civilian fire deaths, 34 civilian fire injuries and $12 million in direct property damage.

In more than two of every five (44%) fires the decoration was too close to a heat source such as a candle or equipment.

One-fifth (21%) of the decoration fires started in the kitchen. Sixteen percent started in the living room, family room or den.

On average, 22 home candle fires were reported each day between 2013-2017.

Three of every five (60%) candle fires started when something that could burn, such as furniture, mattresses or bedding, curtains, or decorations, was too close to the candle. The two peak days for candle fires were Christmas and Christmas Eve.

Decorations must be at least 3 feet away from any heat source. Never leave candles burning unattended. Open flame candles and decorations do not mix. Consider electronic candle alternatives. Safety is no Accident.  For more information about fire and injury prevention classes we offer, contact the Yuma Fire Department Public Information Office at 928-373-4855