Twenty-one preventable fires occurred over the holidays, the Town of Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division reported Thursday, up from 14 in 2011.
The division tracked the number of preventable fires from Nov. 23 to Jan. 2 through its Keep the Wreath Green project, which changed light bulbs from green to white each time a preventable fire broke out.
This holiday season brought five trash fires, three cases of arson, three brush fires, two electrical fires, two cooking fires, one kiln fire and one car fire. Two other fires were caused by equipment or air-conditioning system failures, one by fireplace equipment failure and one by an ember from smoking material.
The division urges residents to prevent fires by keeping appliances up to date, disposing of damaged cords and plugs, cleaning fireplaces and testing smoke alarms monthly.
More tips are available at hiltonheadislandsc.gov/departments/fire/firechecklist.cfm.