The holidays bring increased fire risk - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

The holidays bring increased fire risk

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- The holiday season is full of celebrations and get-together's which bring cheer, but what some people don't know, is they often bring increased-risk for fire as well.

According the Iowa State Fire Marshall, fire fatalities have been down this year. In 2008 there were 49 fatalities. In 2009 there were 46 and as of Nov. 14, there have only been 27 fatalities.

"There is a lot more cooking that goes on typically during the holiday season. All of the extra light that people put up and typically candles are burned more often during the holiday season then during the rest of the year," said John Schilling, Cedar Falls Fire Chief.

Schilling says nationally there are 93,000 fires related to the holidays and typically they do see a spike in the Cedar Falls area.

"The biggest concern we have, and people should be aware of is with this recent time change, you should check your smoke detectors and your batteries. If there are problems replace them. If you can't replace them call us, we will come and help you with that," Chief Schilling said.

Along with checking your smoke detectors, it is also important to be aware of space heater safety. Many people use space heaters during the winter and unfortunately they can lead to fires.

"We do recommend that if you do purchase a space heater, that it's UL approved. That means it has been tested and it's a safe product to use. It is also important to read the safety instructions," Chief Schilling said.

The Cedar Falls Fire Station has a campaign during the holiday season to show the public the fires during the season.

They have a wreath outside their door with green light bulbs. For each fire they will turn one of those lights to red.

Online Reporter: Nikki Newbrough

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