Why the Risk of Fire Increases AFTER the Holiday Season


Even after all the presents are opened and the stockings are empty, many families in Alaska will keep the Christmas trees up to extend the holiday season. Unfortunately, failing to dispose of this quintessential holiday décor can actually put everyone in your household at risk of serious burn injuries. According to the National Fire Protection Association(NFPA), almost one-third of all Christmas tree fires occur in January – well after the holiday season has wrapped up. The biggest issue is the fact that your tree has dried out after standing in your living room for several weeks. Experts report that a severely dehydrated Christmas tree burns extremely quickly, with flashover occurring in less than a minute.


However, trees do not just burst into flames. There are multiple sources of fire or heat that can ignite them and cause burn injuries, and many of these incidents are preventable. You should discuss legal options with an Anchorage, AK burns and serious injuries lawyer if you were hurt, but some information on the dangers may be helpful.


Burn Injuries and the Holiday Season

From 2014 to 2018, US fire departments responded to 160 residential fires that started because of Christmas trees and decorations; half of these incidents occurred because of electrical issues and lighting equipment. Other sources of burns around the holidays are cooking-related fires and fireworks accidents. Victims can suffer a wide range of burn injuries, which are categorized according to severity:

  • A first degree burn is mild and similar to a sunburn. Only the outer layer of skin, the epidermis is affected.
  • Second degree burns penetrate the epidermis and dermis, so there may be deep redness, blisters, and swelling. The pain is significantly more intense.
  • With third degree burns, the injury destroys both the epidermis and dermis, sometimes reaching into the muscle and other tissues beneath. There may be less pain, however, because nerve endings are obliterated.


Compensation for Burn Injury Losses

Any injury will lead to physical pain, but burns are among the most agonizing types of bodily harm. Even after your medical condition is stable, you may require a series of graft procedures and other surgeries. Scarring and disfigurement may be severe, leading to anxiety, depression, and other emotional implications.


Fortunately, Alaska products liability law allows victims to recover monetary damages against the manufacturer of defective products, including lighting and decorations. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to obtain compensation for:

  • Your medical costs, including surgery and rehabilitation;
  • Loss of income and future earning capacity;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Losses based upon how your burn injuries impact your quality of life and personal relationships; and,
  • Many others.


Talk to an Alaska Burn Injuries Attorney About Your Options

If you suffered burns because of a defective product, you will need skilled legal counsel to help pursue those responsible. For more information on your rights and remedies, please contact Power & Power Law in Anchorage, Alaska. We can set up a free consultation to review your circumstances and determine how to proceed.