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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Christmas Tree Safety

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

A decorated Christmas tree in a decorated living room. A decorated Christmas tree in a decorated living room.

One of the best parts of Christmas is the Christmas tree. But there are responsibilities involved with having a Christmas tree, whether it is a natural or artificial tree. If you are purchasing a real tree, don’t just grab the first tree on the lot. Carefully inspect the tree before buying. You want to make sure the tree is fresh with green needles, and that the needles do not fall off when touched.

When placing your Christmas tree in your home, cut at least 2 inches from the base of the trunk. Once the tree is secured in its stand, add enough water to keep at least the bottom inch of the trunk submerged. You will want to add water daily, because the tree will soak up a lot of water. Make sure that your tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heating vents, or lights. You want to make sure that your Christmas tree is not blocking any exits. If an emergency should happen, you don’t want to have to fight your tree.

When it comes to lighting the tree, use lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Be sure to pay attention to the details on the box, as some lights are rated for indoor or outdoor use only. Replace any strings of lights that are worn, broken, or have loose bulb connections. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for how many lights you can string together, and do not overload the lights or outlets.

Be cautious of toddlers and pets. They can pull the ornaments and lights down, and possibly put them in their mouth. The ornaments are a choking hazard, and the lights can be an electrocution hazard. You may have to set up a barrier for their safety.

After Christmas, it is good to get rid of the tree before it starts to dry out. A dried-out tree is a fire hazard. They should not be tossed in your garage, or near the side of your home.

Some facts from the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association):

- Almost one third of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems.

- Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.

- A heat source too close to the tree causes more than one in every five of the fires.

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