I had a post similar to this a few years ago on the old site but a lot of these things need repeating. While a reduction of Christmas tree and Christmas decoration fires has been noticeable in the last few years when they do occur they can develop rapidly and provide additional challenges for responding firefighter.
Again these fires develop rapidly, and with the additional fire loading (plastic decorations, presents) can produce even more toxic smoke than our usual modern fire.
Additionally this is a time of gathering. Family members often come in droves to each others houses for parties, or even long term stays. Now that house that holds a family of 4 could be holding 10 people sleeping who knows where. This makes rapid fire extinguishment and rapid implementation of searching the fire building even more important.
With these parties and gatherings cooking fires can become even more prevalent as well. Turkey fryers get used on Christmas as well as Thanksgiving. Add in additional baked goods, and meals for visiting relatives the home kitchen is working overtime. I can not remember in my fire service career a Christmas or Thanksgiving that at least one kitchen fire has not occurred.
Make sure during this time of year you make some extra trips out into your district. You can assess the type of incidents you make have just by looking at the decorations on the exterior of houses, and the amount of cars in the driveway. Large amount of cars parked in the street may mean a party going on, which would mean additional cooking, and occupants. A house that looks like the Griswold’s may mean a highly decorated tree on the interior, or a strain on the houses electrical system leading to a possible electrical fire. Of course the EMS threat of burns, sickness, intoxication, and suicide are all there as well during the holidays.
This is a happy time of year, but bad things happen, and when they do people will be looking to us, will you be ready?
Thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!