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Home Fire Danger Peaks During Holiday Season

Local SERVPRO® restoration specialist cites statistics on escalated cooking and candle fire risk that can turn festivities into a fire drill


As the holiday season approaches and families gear up for decorating their homes and hosting large gatherings of friends and family, Tia Williams of SERVPRO® of Cayce/West Columbia & Lexington reminds homeowners to take note of some sobering statistics about home fire safety from the National Fire Prevention Association:

  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires. The three peak days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.1
  • Candles fires peak in December. The top three days for candles fires are Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.2


“These statistics are a serious reminder of how the excitement of holiday entertaining can quickly turn into a life-altering fire or even a tragic injury or death,” says Williams. “While glowing candles and elaborate meals set the stage for a great holiday get-together, homeowners need to exercise extra care in controlling the dangerous potential for fires.”

According to the NFPA3, unattended cooking is by far the leading cause of home cooking fires, with frying posing the greatest fire risk and electric ranges posing a higher risk than gas ranges. Range top cooking in general started the majority of home cooking fires and caused 86 percent of related civilian deaths for the reporting period.

While incidents of candle fires peaked in 2001 and have been falling since, candles are still one of the top 10 causes of U.S. home fires, according to the NFPA. As with cooking fires, unattended or abandoned candles account for a large portion of candle fires–almost 20 percent–but the most frequent cause of candle fires is placing the candle too close to something that can burn, like curtains, decorations or furniture.

“It’s easy to see why cooking and candle fires both peak during the holiday season,” says Williams, “and it’s also easy to see why homeowners need to take extra care when decorating their homes or entertaining. A moment’s inattention at the stove or a guest repositioning a candle on a tabletop may be all it takes to turn the festivities into a fight to save property and lives. While our business is fire and water damage restoration and we stand ready to help at a moment’s notice if disaster does strike, our sincere hope is that our friends and neighbors will enjoy a fire-free and festive holiday season.”

For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.servpro.com. For more information on SERVPRO® of Cayce/West Columbia & Lexington, please contact Tia Williams at (803) 755-9774 or Tia@servprolexingtonsc.com.


1 http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/causes/cooking

2 http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fire-causes/candles

3 http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/holidays/put-a-freeze-on-winter-fires



Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of nearly 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar losses. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

About SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia and Lexington

Since 1968, SERVPRO has been active in the Midlands community as a professional and deeply rooted family-run business. Luther Williams established SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia and Lexington with a dream of helping property owners during their most pressing water and fire emergencies. Luther’s grandchildren, Tia Williams and Taylor Williams, currently own and operate SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia and Lexington. Together they have over 20 years of cleaning and restoration experience.

SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia and Lexington enjoys partnering with 32 fellow associates in South Carolina and thousands nationwide to make any size disaster “like it never even happened.”


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