SERVPRO of South Park / West Mifflin Says Keep the Focus on Fire
The American Red Cross (ARC) cites statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration1 showing nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays, claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage.
SERVPRO® of South Park / West Mifflin cautions home owners to follow some important ARC guidelines for holiday decorating and entertaining to make sure that the glow in their holiday celebrations is from twinkling lights and not a costly and potentially deadly fire.
- Place Christmas trees and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat
sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles.
- Purchase flame-retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure
that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as
possible by giving them plenty of water.
- Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not
use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s
- If you are celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, keep flammable items, including curtains
and holiday decorations, at least three feet away from your candles. Place your menorah
or kinara on a non-flammable surface, such as a tray lined with aluminum foil, to catch
the melting candle wax. Never leave lit candles unattended.
- Ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave and
always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
If, in spite of all your precautions, a fire does break out, the most important thing you can do to
help save lives is to install and maintain smoke alarms throughout your property. Having a working smoke alarm reduces everyone’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half. The ARC is joining with fire departments and community groups nationwide to deliver and install a limited number of free smoke alarms in homes for those in need. Contact your local ARC chapter for more information. http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/prevent-homefire #Our-Partners
The disaster response professionals at SERVPRO, a national leader and provider of fire and
water cleanup and restoration services, witness the devastation that home fires can cause far too
often. They also know that when fire causes a loss of life, there is no “remediation” possible. To
keep the focus on fire prevention, rather than fire restoration, SERVPRO has teamed up with the
American Red Cross by supporting the ARC Disaster Responder2 program, and in particular the
Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. 2 http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/prevent-homefire