The National Fire Protection Association has announced "Project Holiday," an online resource, including quizzes, videos and downloadable materials, to help families protect against fire risk during the holidays.
"Many people simply don't know which activities and practices present hazards," said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications. "'Project Holiday' points out where holiday fire risks lurk, along with a wealth of tips and guidelines to prevent them."
Across the board, the majority of holiday fires are the result of human error, and the holiday season is a time when there is an increased risk of home fires.
An online toolkit also is available with campaign materials that can be used to spread the word about fire safety throughout the community. Sparky the Fire Dog is also pitching in with holiday-themed fire-safety materials for parents and educators on his website at sparky.org, including downloadable coloring and activity sheets and e-cards.
According to NFPA, many holiday traditions and festivities - from candle decorations and cooking to Christmas trees and holiday lighting - significantly contribute to the season's increased risks:
December is the peak month for home candle fires. Almost half of all home decoration fires were started by candles.
Although Christmas tree fires aren't common, when they do occur, they're more likely to be serious.
A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in five associated fires, with one of every three home Christmas tree fires caused by electrical problems.
Almost half of all holiday lighting fires occur in December. Electrical failures or malfunctions were a factor in two-thirds, or 69 percent, of these fires.
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires; unattended cooking is the leading cause.
To learn more about "Project Holiday" and its tips for a fire-safe season, visit www.nfpa.org/holiday.