According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), 3 out of 5 fire deaths are from homes without smoke alarms, and about 1 in 5 are because fire alarms aren’t working properly. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says roughly 2,000 die in residential fires every year. You might be asking, “what does this cheerful subject have to do with the holidays?” During the holiday season, fire alarm end users will most likely be celebrating traditions that will put them at a higher risk of a residential fire, whether that is stringing lights around a Christmas Tree, or deep frying a turkey. Now is the perfect time to let your customers know about fire alarm safety and maintenance so they can enjoy being ‘home for the holidays’.
Reasons Fires Increase During the Holidays
The NFPA put together a list of winter holiday fire facts concerning the uptick in fires around the country during the holiday season. Here are some interesting home fire facts:
- Between 2013-2017, 160 homes per year caught fire from Christmas tree decorations, resulting in 10 million in property damage
- Between 2013-2017, excluding fires that started from Christmas trees, an average of 780 homes caught fire that were caused by holiday decorations
- Between 2013-2017, an average of 22 homes caught fire from candles. About 60% of candle fires started because something flamable (couch, mattress, curtains, etc) was too close to the candle
- Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires
As you can see, common holiday rituals and traditions, although festive, create added risk for the potential of fire in the home. This only adds to the increased importance of ensuring your customers have a fully functional, monitored fire alarm system in the home.
Where to Install Fire Alarms
Your customers need to be aware of the best places to have a fire alarm installed to maximize effectiveness and decrease the occurrence of false alarms. One common misconception is thinking that a fire or smoke alarm should go in the kitchen. The grease and smoke from a stove or oven can cause unwanted false alarms. In reality, here are some of the best places for a fire or smoke alarm to be installed:
- Halls near sleeping areas
- Top of stairs
- Bottom of basement stairs
- Storage areas like finished basements or attics
You also don’t want your customers or technicians to install fire alarms in dusty areas like garages, furnace room crawl spaces or unfinished places in the home like an unfinished attic. The particles from the dust can lower the effectiveness of the alarm. Smoke alarms should be installed in well vented areas and be out of direct sunlight.
Check on Your Customers
When was the last time your customers had their alarms tested, cleaned, or had any maintenance performed? With the increased risk of the fires over the holidays, now is the perfect time to ensure your current customers are maintaining their fire alarms properly, and to demonstrate the importance of fire safety to potential new customers.
All November and December we’ll be bringing you some valuable tips and insights regarding home safety and security as it relates to the holiday season. As we move through the season, each of these articles will be made available through our website’s resource center, along with any important product updates or announcements for you through our dealer portal.