December. Snow falling, cookies in the oven, wrapping gifts, time with loved ones, the smell of pine, and the warm glow of a Christmas tree. The Christmas tree is one of the most common things you will find in a house during the Christmas season. Every year people all over the world decorate it with lights, ribbons, ornaments and more. It is certainly a cherished Christmas tradition. However, did you know that between the years of 2009-2013 there were 210 home fires that started with a Christmas tree (NFPA.org) ? From these fires, there were 7 deaths and 19 injuries and 3 out of every 10 fires started with electrical problems! We have some helpful tips that will help you lower your risk of a fire, so the only fire you will be roasting chestnuts over will be in your fireplace!
When choosing a tree
- If it is artificial, check the tag to make sure that it is labeled as fire retardant.
- If it is a real tree, make sure it is green, fresh and no needles fall off when it is moved or touched.
Maintaining the tree
- Make sure the trunk has been freshly cut. If not, cut one or two inches off.
- Water the tree daily, to prevent it from becoming too dry.
- Keep it away from any heat sources and don’t block any exits.
- When the tree begins to drop needles, it is time to get rid of it. A dry tree is a huge fire hazard.
Decorating the tree:
- Make sure any lights you use are specifically for indoors.
- Never use candles around the tree or on it.
- Turn off the lights when you leave the house or go to bed.
- Do not use any strands with broken bulbs, and read manufacturers instructions to know how many strands can be used together.
* Safety tips courtesy of NFPA.org.