(COLORADO SPRINGS) — December is the peak month for home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) is giving the public a few safety tips so you can have a safe and happy, fire-free holiday season.

NFPA says candle fires peak in December and January with Christmas day having the most reported candle fires. An average of 7,400 home candle fires were reported each year between 2015 and 2019, according to NFPA. The association suggests keeping candles at least one foot away from anything that can burn.

Home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires, says NFPA. This also contributes to one in every five home fire deaths. A contributing factor to home fires during the winter is the improper use of portable generators. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards, per NFPA. According to a 2013 Consumer Product Safety Commission report, half of the generator-related deaths happened from November through February, the four coldest months of the year. Portable generators were involved in the majority of carbon monoxide deaths involving engine-driven tools, says NFPA. 

CSFD says the number one cause of house fires in Colorado Springs is kitchen fires. Individuals should be aware of what’s on their stove burners that haven’t been turned off. You should also be wary of frayed and old cords on lights and decorations. These should be swapped out to prevent any dangers, states CSFD.