How To Avoid Christmas Tree Fires
Christmas is right around the corner, and if you’re like us, you may have had your Christmas Tree up since the end of November. While it may have seemed fresh then, it could be getting a bit dry now and become a fire hazard. We’ll walk with you some steps to protect your home and Christmas tree this holiday season.
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Christmas trees have become a staple in American Christmas traditions. We love picking them out, chopping them down, bringing them home, and decorating them with the family. Without proper care and precautions, Christmas trees can become a major threat to the safety of the home. According to the NFPA, between 2015-2019, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of two deaths, 12 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage annually. So, to help you not become a statistic that the NFPA shares, we want to share these tips with you.
Pick out a Fresh Tree
When you are picking out your Christmas tree at your Christmas tree farm, home improvement shop, or your neighbor’s backyard, be sure to pick out a tree that looks healthy to begin with. If the tree has already been cut down, ask an attendant to cut it again, cutting an extra inch off the bottom so that it is more inclined to absorb water. And, if you can, cut even another inch off that when you get home, to ensure maximum absorption. When you set your tree in the stand in your home, be sure that it has at least one gallon of water. If it is taller than six feet, it would be wise to use even more than a gallon. Finally, check the water level of your tree daily, refilling it as needed, to ensure it stays fresh.
Be Mindful of the Electrical Distribution in Your Home
Even with all the improvements in technology that we’ve seen over the last few decades, decorative lights can still pose major fire safety threats in the home. From faulty wiring, wear and tear, and overheating, holiday lights can be an ignition source for fires. According to the NFPA, nearly one in five Christmas tree fires was started by decorative lights. So, we recommend that lights on a Christmas tree do not stay on overnight and are only plugged in when an adult is in the room.
We also want to draw attention to the issue of overloading circuits. During the holiday season, people often like to decorate the outside of their homes as well as the inside. Be aware of the strain that too many plug-ins can have on the electrical in your home. Be sure to check the wiring of your decorations for fraying and make sure there are no tears in your extension cords. Also, never plug a surge protector into another surge protector. Use separate outlets for these.
Christmas Tree Location
Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights. Remember that fire needs fuel, oxygen, and heat to live, and that tree is a great source of fuel. Keeping it away from a direct heat source is a great way to reduce fire risk.
Be sure that you are also keeping all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture, and décor.
If you have further questions on fire safety, talk with your local Fire Safety Consultant or reach out to us directly.
Have a safe and happy holidays!