DECEMBER PEAK TIME OF YEAR FOR HOME CANDLE FIRES
Townhouse Condo Fires on Douglas Ct, Luther Ln; Water Main Break in Arlington Heights Christmas Eve, December 24, 2018.
Arlington Heights firefighters responded to two fires Christmas Eve. One fire was located in a dining room and one fire involved a fireplace mantle. Both fires may have been caused by candles.
Firefighters responded about 7:35 p.m. Monday December 24, 2018 to a report of smoke coming from a condo unit in the block of 1600 Douglas Court near Maude Avenue and Douglas Avenue. Firefighters extinguished a small fire in the dining room. The fire origin is under investigation, but the fire may have been caused by an unattended candle. Buffalo Grove and Prospect Heights firefighters assisted Arlington Heights firefighters on Douglas Court.
Next, about 8:17 p.m. Arlington Heights firefighters responded to an address on Luther Lane in Luther Village southeast of the Kennicott Avenue and Thomas Street intersection. A resident report a candle started a fireplace mantle on fire. Rolling Meadows was first on the scene with an engine crew, and quickly extinguished the fire. Extra firefighters were immediately returned, but Rolling Meadows and Arlington Heights crews worked to ventilate the condo townhouse.
Tuesday morning a fire in a house on Brown Street in Wauconda was also suspected to have been caused by an unattended candle. A passerby discovered the fire, which had already spread from the first floor to the second floor. The fire killed one of two cats that were in the home.
According to the NFPA … from 2012-2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 8,200 home structure fires that were started by candles per year. These fires caused an annual average of 80 deaths, 770 injuries and $264 million in direct property damage.
Facts and figures
During the five-year period of 2012-2016:
Candles caused 2% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 7% of home fire injuries, and 4% of the direct property damage in home fires.
Roughly one-third (37%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 30% of the associated deaths and 50% of the associated injuries.
Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 21% of the associated deaths.
On average, 23 home candle fires were reported per day.
Three of every five (60%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 12% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.
“CANDLE WITH CARE” …
SOURCE: NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
• Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
• Keep candles at least 1 foot (30 centimeters) away from anything that can burn.
• Use candle holders that are sturdy, and won’t tip over easily.
• Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
• Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any
loose clothing away from the flame.
• Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out
before it gets too close to the holder or container.
• Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home.
• Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage. Never use candles during a power failure.
• Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle. Keep matches and lighters up high and out of children’s reach, in a locked cabinet.
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