KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- There is a new warning about the dangers of the holidays. An insurance watchdog says the number of claims for fires goes up 12 percent in the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.
An insuranceQuotes report released this month said most fires begin because homeowners are distracted by the holiday frenzy and forget basic safety measures.
The study showed 12.9 million Americans have experienced a house fire because of a fryer or cooking accident. Lit candles caused fires for 9.7 million Americans, and 6.5 million others dealt with fires caused by a Christmas tree.
The insurance company offered the following tips to stay safe:
- Keep cooking surfaces clean, dispose of grease in a metal can after cooling it off.
- Keep lit candles in sight and extinguish the flame before you leave the room, or go to sleep.
- Keep Christmas trees three feet from heat sources and exits. Use lights that don't have any signs of wear and tear. Keep real trees hydrated.
- Check batteries in smoke detectors. Place detectors on every floor of your home.
- Consider insuring your home and review your policy to make sure it is current.
- Inspect your chimney and fireplace before use.