ARLINGTON, Va. – Decorating for the fall season can be a lot of fun, but it can also have its fair share of fire safety hazards.

According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics, each year home decorations contribute to an average of “1,000 reported home structure fires per year, resulting in an average six civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries and $16 million in direct property damage.”

Here is what you can do for October’s National Fire Prevention Month:

  • Ensure light bulbs are screwed in tightly
  • Avoid placing furniture on cords and replace damaged extension cords
  • Don’t overload circuits
  • Use flashlights or flameless candles instead of open flames decorating your home
  • Check extension cords, appliances and lights for any damage before plugging into an outlet
  • Make sure your home is protected with arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), devices designed to detect and stop dangerous arcing before an electrical fire can start

“Thankfully technologies like arc fault circuit interrupters exist to help prevent electrical fires from occurring in homes, but as an added level of safety we urge homeowners to also keep their eyes open to other preventable issues while they are decorating,” said David Kendall, director of industry affairs at ABB Inc. and member of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association LVDE AFCI Task Force.