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Giving and Sharing Safely During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time of giving and sharing with family and friends. Whether you are cooking a meal for your loved ones, or exchanging new presents, be sure that you are remembering to celebrate your season right by being fire safe! 

New toys and electronics make a great gift, but be sure to double check they are fire safe. Even new items can have cords that become damaged during manufacturing, so make sure all cords look new and have not frayed before plugging them in.Be sure that new toys and electronics are safe to play with by checking government websites for product recalls and other possible warnings.

Additionally, be sure to unplug new gifts that keep you toasty, like space heaters and electric blankets, when you are finished with them. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 56 percent of fires caused by home heating equipment were the result of the heat source being too close to things that can burn, like mattresses or furniture.

Finally, if you’re sharing a meal with family and friends, be sure to stay safe in the kitchen. According to the American Red Cross, home fires are most likely to start in the kitchen. In addition to having a working smoke alarm, be sure to have a fire extinguisher within reach in your kitchen.

Using these tips will keep your giving and sharing fire safe during this holiday season.

Observing Safely During the Holiday Season

The winter holidays provide an opportunity to help bring brightness into a darker time of year. For many people, candles are an integral part of this celebratory time. Bright flames can raise the mood and add some warmth to the chilly holiday season, but they must be used safely. According to the American Red Cross, fires caused by candles are four times more likely to occur during the holiday season.

When using candles to brighten your holiday celebrations, be sure to never have open flames close to holiday decorations, like garland or trees. All decorations should be at least three feet away from heat sources. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 80 percent of deaths caused by Christmas tree fires start because some type of heat source, such as a candle or other equipment, was too close to the tree.

Additionally, if you choose to purchase real trees or wreaths, be sure they are fresh. Green, fresh cuttings that are not easily broken are less likely to catch on fire. Keep trees watered while they are in your home to ensure they do not dry out.

Finally, be sure that all open flames are fully extinguished after events. Open flames, like candles or fireplaces, should never be left unattended. If you light a fire or candles for a holiday event, designate one person in the home to make sure all flames are fully extinguished after guests leave or before going to bed.

Following these tips will help you, your friends, and your family to celebrate the holidays safely.

Fire around the holidays is a real concern, as shown in the media reports below.

Infographics

Alaska: 


ANCHORAGE, AK – The Alaska Department of Public Safety says an Anchorage fire that took the lives of two little girls was caused by unattended cooking.

ANCHORAGE, AK – A woman and her family are recovering after their trailer home went up in flames. Chrystal Forbes says she was inside the trailer when she woke up to heavy smoke. Forbes says she had recently put away leftovers, when she realized she had to move quickly to save herself and her dog. 

 

New York: 


FLORAL PARK, NY – A family from Long Island was displaced from their home for Thanksgiving due to a fire, but they were thankful for all the help they received.


BROOKLYN, NY – The 80-year-old mother of an N.Y.P.D. detective died in her Brooklyn home over the weekend after apparently catching fire in a cooking accident and either suffering a fatal fall or succumbing to a heart attack while dousing the flames.

BRONX, NY – Authorities are investigating the death of a 53-year-old woman who was found engulfed in flames in an apartment bathroom by her fiance, who had been watching television with the woman's 10-year-old son in the next room.

 

California: 


MERCED, CA – Fire raced through a garage early Friday, gutting part of a home on the northern outskirts of Merced and displacing three people, including an elderly couple.


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, CA – A mother and her three children, including a 6-month-old baby girl, died on Friday when a fire ripped through their mobile home in Southern California on Christmas morning, officials said.


DALY CITY, CA – A kitchen fire displaced six people from a home in Daly City Friday afternoon, firefighters said.

BRENTWOOD, CA – A hoverboard intended as a Christmas present "burst into flames" Monday in the East Bay city of Brentwood, California, frightening family members and charring the home's kitchen wall.

 

North Carolina: 

 

MADISON COUNTY, NC – A father and son died in their rural Mars Hill mobile home during a fire over the Thanksgiving holiday.

RALEIGH, NC – One person was killed in an apartment fire Wednesday morning in Raleigh, Allen Wilson with the Raleigh Fire Department said.

 

Press Releases

ACC and NAFRA Launch

“Celebrate Safely” Campaign to Improve

Holiday Fire Safety  

Campaign Will Include Online Facebook Advertising and Will Share Tips for Families on Protecting their Homes from Fire during the Holidays                                           

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 19, 2016) — The American Chemistry Council’s North American Flame Retardant Alliance (NAFRA), a group that represents manufacturers of flame retardants, launched an effort  today in support of home fire safety over the holidays. The campaign, Celebrate Safely, comes in response to an annual increase in home fires during the winter holiday season. 

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are over 104,000 fires each year during the winter holidays, claiming 890 lives and $2 billion in property damage. Candle fires are 4 times more likely to occur during winter holidays, compared to the rest of the year, according to the American Red Cross, and on average 210 home fires start with Christmas trees each season

“The good news is that there are steps families can take to reduce the risk of holiday fires,” said Robert Simon, Vice President at the American Chemistry Council. “The Celebrate Safely campaign will offer tips that every family can, and should, do to improve their fire safety over the holidays.”

The Celebrate Safely campaign will run throughout the month of December and into early January, and it will focus on five tips to stay safe:

  • Decorate Safely. Choose decorations that carry a UL or CSA label, indicating that they have been tested for fire safety. The American Red Cross recommends placing Christmas trees and holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, heaters, and candles.
  • Cook Safely. Keep things that can catch fire, such as oven mitts, towels, and wooden utensils, away from stoves and ranges.
  • Observe Safely.  Make sure to blow out lit candles when you leave the room and keep your Christmas tree hydrated.
  • Play Safely. Keep matches and lighters out of reach from children and in locked cabinets and be mindful of the fire safety of individual products.
  • Entertain Safely. Make sure guests know about fire exits, be mindful of crowds near open flame sources, and make sure smoke detectors are working properly.

These tips and more can be found on a new website devoted to the campaign: www.celebratesafelycampaign.com

Throughout the campaign, NAFRA (@AMChemistry) will be using Twitter to share additional tips on how to stay safe from fires during the holiday season. NAFRA will be using the hashtag #CelebrateSafely and invite individuals around the country to take part in the conversation.

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About The North American Flame Retardant Alliance

The American Chemistry Council’s North American Flame Retardant Alliance (NAFRA) supports a robust and transparent regulatory system that provides both strong fire protection and chemical safety.  NAFRA’s members represent the cutting edge of fire safety chemistry and technology and are dedicated to protecting consumers through the safe and effective use of flame retardants.  Our work includes:

·      Conducting original, peer-reviewed research;

·      Enhancing awareness of fire safety and the efficacy of flame retardants;

·      Supporting risk-based policies and regulations based on sound science; and

·      Establishing constructive dialogue with flame retardant users and other stakeholders.

NAFRA’s members represent the world’s leading producers and users of a variety of flame retardants. Membership is open to producers, distributors and companies that use flame retardants in their own equipment or product, and related trade associations.

NAFRA Members:

·      Albemarle Corporation

·      Great Lakes Solutions, A Chemtura Business

·      ICL Industrial Products

More information at: http://flameretardants.americanchemistry.com

NAFRA Contact:

Bryan Goodman, (202) 249-6510, bryan_goodman@americanchemistry.com