Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

November 28, 2011

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Decorate Safely for the Holidays
Safe Kids Kansas offers holiday safety reminders

Topeka -- Holiday decorations, especially candles and electrical lighting, can be a fire hazard. Safe Kids Kansas reminds parents and caregivers to take precautions when decorating for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and other winter festivities.

“Never, never leave burning candles unattended,” says Cherie Sage, State Director of Safe Kids Kansas. “Don’t put candles on a tree or a natural wreath, or near curtains or drapes. Keep matches and lighters locked out of reach.”

From 2004-2008, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) estimates that decorations were the item first ignited in an estimated average of 1,170 reported home structure fires per year.  Half of these fires occurred because the decoration was too close to a heat source.  Forty-five percent of these incidents were started by candles. The top five days for home candle fires were Christmas, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day, Halloween and December 23.  Battery-operated flameless candles are an alternative that do not have a fire risk.

“Decorative lighting should be labeled with the seal of an independent testing lab,” says Sage. “If it’s not labeled for outdoor use, don’t use it outdoors.”

If you decorate a tree, Safe Kids Kansas recommends these precautions:

Safe Kids Kansas also offers these tips to prevent accidental poisoning:

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