3 Holiday Traditions Account for Home Fires

Updated: 12/19/2012 7:10 PM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart

Minnesota Fire Officials say the week between Christmas and New Year's Day is the most fire-prone week of the year.

Last winter during that time, 172 structure fires caused nearly $3 million in property damage and even claimed some lives.

State Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl attributes 70-percent of those fires to cooking, open flames and heating. “The number of fires varies from year-to-year, but the causes do not,” says Rosendahl.

“The challenges remain: unattended stovetops, creosote-clogged chimneys, improper use of candles and space heaters, and people who burn wrapping paper in the fireplace, despite warnings.”

Rosendahl offers these tips to prevent a tragedy this holiday season:


Open flames


Rosendahl adds that fire safety begins with purchasing, installing, and maintaining smoke alarms in the home. There should be one in the hallway outside sleeping rooms, and one on each level of the home. In addition, in new construction, there must be one within each sleeping room.

Click here for detailed fire information code.