The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Ron Falter
For the Sentinel 

Keeping trees safe prevents accidents


According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), from 2005 to 2009 U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 240 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees. Home Christmas tree fires, both natural trees and artificial trees, caused an average of 13 civilian deaths, 27 civilian injuries, and $16.7 million in direct property damage per year.

Forty two percent of home Christmas tree structure fires occurred during the 12 days from Dec. 23 through Jan 3. Electrical failure or malfunctions were involved in one-third of home Christmas tree structure fires. One in five (20 percent) occurred because some type of heat source was too close to the tree...

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