Mich. Fire Marshal Reminds Residents of Holiday Decoration Safety; More than $1.4 Million in 2003 Property Loss

November 24, 2004

Michigan’s Office of the State Fire Marshal is reminding residents to be careful with holiday decorations. Candles and Christmas trees add a joyous and festive mood to the holiday season. But when decorations such as these are not used properly, they can cause fires, injuries and death.

Last year there were 265 candle-related fires reported in Michigan, resulting in six deaths, 31 injuries, and more than $6 million in property loss. Christmas trees and holiday decorations were involved in 63 reported fires, resulting in one death and more than $1.4 million in property loss and damage.

“More and more holiday decorations feature candles and lights – lending a beautiful touch to ceremonies and events,” said State Fire Marshal Andy Neumann. “However, consumers should remember that lighted candles that are left unattended could bring tragedy. These simple safety tips will help prevent many of the holiday decoration-related fires that occur each year.”

“The holidays are a good time to make sure your family has a fire escape plan – and can safely execute it,” added Neumann. “Map out escape routes for every member of your family, including alternate routes in case the others are blocked by a fire. Establish at least two exits from each part of the house. And finally, include a place safely away from the house for your family to meet to make sure everyone got out O.K. and practice your plan every couple of months – even in the winter months.”

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