Kwanzaa begins today. The week-long event honors African heritage in the African American culture. At Kwanzaa observances I’ve attended after my celebration of Christmas is over, the host family decorates the house with beautiful African cloths and artwork. We dress in traditional African clothing and exchange small gifts. During the ceremony our ancestors are honored and African drums are played. Each day of Kwanzaa a candle is lit as participants reflect on the observance’s seven principles.
NFPA and the United States Fire Administration, as part of their “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires” campaign, want to make sure that everyone using candles for observances, celebrations, and commemorations, takes precautions.
NFPA’s Candle Fires Report tells us that, on average, 32 home candle fires were reported to fire departments per day from 2006 to 2010, and more than half of all home candle fires start when something that can burn is left or comes too close to a candle.