Festive decorations lend December a special magic and many people could not imagine the last month of the year without advent wreaths, lights and candles and, of course, Yuletide trees. However, a whole host of decorations, including advent wreaths, can be a fire hazard in the home. According to figures from Zavarovalnica Triglav, the Christmas and New Year period is the most dangerous time of the year for fires in Slovenia. Prevention is the name of the game in the traditional “For a Better Tomorrow” New Year campaign, in which Zavarovalnica Triglav, for the eighth year running, is allocating part of its funds to support a range of prevention projects across the country.
When it comes to fires, December really stands out compared to the average fire-related damages throughout the year, as recorded by Slovenia’s largest insurance company. In 2016, in the last month of the year Triglav recorded fire damage at nearly double the monthly average. A similar trend was seen in 2017, when 65% more fire damage was caused in December. Although the total number of fire-related damage instances declined in 2018, the December percentage stood out at nearly 60% more fire damage than the monthly average. In December of 2019 and 2020, the total number of fire-damage instances was once again higher compared to other months of the year.
Plastic is as dangerous as natural materials
Advent wreaths – or rather the candles that adorn them – present a particular danger. If a number of unfortunate circumstances occur at the same time, they can cause fires that lead to minor or indeed severe material damage. Although a fire can be caused by natural as well as plastic advent wreaths, there are differences between the two types of material. According to experts, a dry natural wreath will catch fire and burn more quickly than a plastic one. This video gives more information on how to extinguish an advent wreath.
Care needed with cheap lights on Christmas trees
Christmas trees and the decorations placed on them are no less dangerous. Lights are statistically the most common reason why Christmas trees catch fire. Christmas tree fires can be even more dangerous than advent wreath fires because of the size of the flames and their rapid spread to surrounding objects.
Firefighters, who are always warning of the importance of adequate prevention, are usually the first on the scene to deal with the consequences of unwise choices. Zavarovalnica Triglav puts prevention at the forefront of its traditional “For a Better Tomorrow” New Year prevention campaign. Among the 25 projects this year, the company has provided financial support to five voluntary fire brigades in Central Slovenia.
Helping those who help others
“The mission of our insurance company is to create a safer future for all generations. Many of the firefighters and firefighting organisations we have supported in the past are already carrying out their emergency operations more effectively with their new equipment. We are committed to continuing to ensure that as many firefighters as possible are able to carry out their humanitarian mission safely and effectively, which is why we have supported the purchase of urgently required equipment for operational firefighters this year as well, in addition to focusing on projects that leave a mark on local communities and help people,“ explained Primož Rot, Director of Triglav’s Ljubljana regional office.
From now on, firefighters of the voluntary fire brigades in Preserje, Trojane, Zbilje, Želimlje and Notranje Gorice – Plešivica will be able to conduct even more effective interventions. Within this year’s campaign, the support of the largest Slovenian insurance company also delighted the firefighting association of the Kuzma Municipality and the voluntary fire brigades of Trboje, Črna na Koroškem and Šmartno ob Dreti.
Support extended to more than 200 prevention projects already
In the last eight years, Zavarovalnica Triglav has supported more than 200 prevention projects nationwide through its “For a Better Tomorrow” campaign, which involved everything from providing firefighting equipment to purchasing defibrillators.
This year, for example, Triglav helped purchase medical equipment (defibrillators, folding wheelchairs, aids for the blind and visually impaired, a swing for mobility impaired persons, an ultrasound machine, and aids for physiotherapy, among others), (co-)financed equipment and the necessary training to support voluntary fire brigades and civil protection units (fire engines, various pieces of equipment for easier interventions at scenes of accidents and medical treatment/removal of injured persons, personal equipment for firefighters, technical equipment for the functioning of organisations, and education courses for first responders, among others), and contributed funds for the implementation of other activities that benefit local communities (for example counselling service for pupils and parents and equipment for safer development of children’s motor skills).