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Holiday Home Fire Safety Ideas from the National Fire Protection Association


New York, Dec 01, 2004

This holiday season, ANSI member and accredited standards developer the National Fire Protection Association is providing a number of tips and gift suggestions to help consumers keep themselves, their loved ones and their property safe from fire.



  • Smoke alarms—one of the best fire-safety items for the home. Seventy percent of all home fire fatalities occur in homes where there are no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Consider smoke alarms for everyone on your list. Smoke alarms for people who are deaf or hard of hearing include strobe lights, high decibels and/or vibration. All smoke alarms should be replaced after 10 years.

  • Flashlights. Prevent fires by using flashlights instead of candles during power outages.

  • Sturdy candleholders to prevent tip-over when candles are lit. Lantern-style candle holders can reduce the likelihood of something coming in contact with a candle flame.

  • A secure fireplace screen to keep embers out of the room.

  • Long fireplace matches to prevent burns.

  • Gift certificates for clean-up services to remove fire-prone clutter from basements, attics or yards; or for chimney sweeps to prevent creosote build-up that can cause chimney fires.

  • A bathrobe with tight-fitting sleeves that cannot touch stove burners while a person is cooking.

  • Down or synthetic comforters, flannel sheets or flannel pajamas to keep a loved one warm, and to reduce the need for space heaters, particularly at night. Generally, space heaters (fixed and portable) are involved in two-thirds of home heating fire deaths.

  • Large, deep, non-tip ashtrays. If family members or friends have a smoking habit, using these ashtrays can prevent smoking materials from igniting materials nearby.

  • Portable fire extinguishers with safety tips on how to use them. Make sure the recipient reads and understands the instructions before having to use them.

  • Fireproof oven mitts for stove or barbecue.

  • Large house numbers so firefighters can locate a home at night quickly during an emergency.

  • Carbon monoxide detectors. While this item won’t help keep your loved ones safe from fire, it’s something you should consider for home safety. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas formed when fuels—such as natural gas, oil and wood—burn incompletely.

  • Stocking stuffers: Download loads of fire safety information—including home escape grids—from NFPA’s Web site, at www.nfpa.org, or for children, try NFPA’s www.sparky.org. And don’t forget batteries for smoke alarms and flashlights!

Facts & figures to consider for seasonal safety:

  • December, January and February are the deadliest months for fires.

  • The top 10 days for home fires in recent years were all between December 24 and January 6.

  • Cooking and heating are the leading causes of home fires in the months of December through February.

  • Candle fires have nearly tripled in the past decade. Nearly twice as many home candle fires occur in December than any other month, perhaps because of holiday decorations and rituals.

NFPA is co-sponsoring Underwriter Laboratories' "Operation Decoration," aimed at helping the public prevent home fires, as well as electric shock and other injuries, which are far too common during the holiday season and winter months.

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training and education. Visit NFPA's Web site at www.nfpa.org.

ANSI Nanotechnology Standards Panel