SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) encourages customers to use caution and put safety first when decorating this holiday season to reduce the risk of a fire in the home. Lighting equipment, candles, menorahs and the Christmas trees can become holiday hazards and spark a devastating fire. By having a plan and making minor adjustments to decorating and cooking, the holiday season can remain festive and safe for everyone.
“We know home fires increase during the holidays, so we encourage our customers to slow down, take the right precautions and stay safe this holiday season,” said Laurie Giammona, PG&E Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. “After an unprecedented year the holidays will be extra special as long as you make safety part of your smaller family celebrations.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), candle fires increase this month. Almost 60% of home fires involving holiday decorations were started by candles in the month of December compared to 30% in January and November. The two peak days for candle fires are Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Also, Hanukkah is a time to pay extra special attention to candles also.
Here are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe during the holidays:
Candle and Cooking Safety
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
- Never leave a lit menorah or candles unattended.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop. Start with a clean oven to reduce the risk of a grease fire.
The family Christmas tree also can become an unexpected hazard. According to the NFPA, on average, Christmas tree home fires resulted in death four times more often than home fires without a tree. Lighting equipment was involved in almost 40 percent of home tree fires.
Christmas Tree Safety
- Before placing a fresh tree in the stand, cut two inches” from the base of the trunk to help it absorb water.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
- Purchase flame-retardant metallic or artificial trees. For real trees, make sure it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them water daily.
PG&E also encourages residents to create a household emergency preparedness plan and share it with the entire family. For more ways to stay safe this holiday season, visit www.pge.com/safety.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 24,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.