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Fire safety experts: Make safety a holiday tradition at your house

fireWith the holiday season rapidly approaching, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is launching its annual holiday safety campaign to encourage families and communities across the country to Make Safety a Tradition. The theme of this year’s campaign is “ESFI’s Holiday Survival Guide,” which educates the public about preventing dangers commonly associated with the holiday season, from hanging the first hook to dismantling the last decoration and everything in between.

Statistics show that increased risks of fire and electrical hazards are unintended consequences of common activities during this time of year. Recent reports from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) indicate that 30 percent of all home fires and 38 percent of home fire deaths occur during the months of December, January and February. Between 2004 and 2009, an average of 240 home fires each year started with Christmas trees. One-third of all home Christmas tree fires are attributed to home electrical problems. Additionally, another 150 home fires per year were caused by decorative and holiday lights.  

“The holiday season can be stressful and chaotic, and we are urging the public to make sure they don’t overlook safety as they prepare for and celebrate the holidays,” said ESFI President Brett Brenner. “A proactive approach to safety is essential to keeping family, friends, and guests safe during all of their holiday season activities.”

Incidents of preventable injuries are also increasingly prevalent during the winter holiday season. About 5,800 individuals are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for injuries sustained from falls involving holiday decorations. In addition, 4,000 people per year are treated in emergency rooms for injuries associated with extension cords.

This year, ESFI has teamed with NFPA, the worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety, to develop the central component to the campaign, the all-encompassing Holiday Survival Guide. Available at no charge on ESFI’s website, the Holiday Survival Guide features a variety of resources to remind consumers that safety must be the common thread among the long list of traditions and rituals that contribute to the magic of the holiday season. Included safety tip sheets cover all aspects of holiday safety, from cooking, decorating, and entertaining to post-holiday cleanup. The Survival Guide also features a Holiday Gift Guide, information about the latest advances in home safety technology, a holiday entertaining safety checklist, and easy safety reminders for the whole family.

In addition, ESFI’s seasonal website features tips, facts, statistics, trends, and safety reminders to help keep families and communities safe throughout the season. ESFI also developed a handy reference sheet illustrating its “Top 10 Holiday Safety Tips,” which provides safety reminders that can easily be shared with loved ones and friends. The Holiday Electrical Safety Quiz provides an interactive way to learn about common electrical hazards while discovering easy, yet critical, safety reminders. For younger audiences, ESFI’s online Kids’ Corner reinforces holiday safety concepts through animated videos and games.

Visit to download ESFI’s complimentary 2012 Holiday Survival Guide and to find many more tips and tools to help keep you and your family safe during your holiday

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