Did you know that Christmas tree fires account for around 200 fires each year? If you want to protect your family and your home, read this guide to Christmas tree safety. You’ll learn some important tips for both real and artificial Christmas trees.
Real Christmas Tree Safety
Real Christmas trees require specific care to reduce the risk that they catch on fire. As you consider which tree to purchase, run your hands down branches or the top of the tree. If the needles fall off when you do that, the tree is too dry and you should choose another tree. When you bring home your real tree, cut a couple of inches from the bottom before you place it into the water. This helps the tree absorb more water since when the tree is cut, the sap dries on the bottom. It’s extremely important to water the Christmas tree. Trees can use as much as one gallon per water in 24 hours. The water should never go below the base of the tree. Also, make sure that you keep your real Christmas tree away from heat sources. This includes heater vents, fireplaces, space heaters, or anywhere that is particularly warm.
Artificial Trees Are Also a Fire Hazard
According to UL, some artificial trees that have pre-strung lights are just as much of a fire hazard as a real Christmas tree that’s too dry. Make sure that you review the tag on the artificial tree to make sure that the pre-strung lights and tree have been approved by UL. If it’s not, choose a different tree. As you choose your artificial tree, make sure that you look for boxes that advertise the tree as flame resistant. While that doesn’t guarantee that the tree won’t catch fire, it does mean that there’s less of a chance it could happen as long as you follow best practices for tree safety.
Let’s Talk about Lights and Candles
Real and artificial Christmas trees can be set on fire by Christmas lights and candles. Make sure that you don’t keep real candles that are lit near or on the Christmas tree. In December, around half of all fires are started by candles.
Around one-third of fires during the Christmas season result from the use of lights. Too many lights on an artificial tree or hot lights on a dry tree can increase the chance of a Christmas tree fire. Additionally, if you have cords that stretch across the floor to an outlet, make sure that you don’t cover the cords with a rug. That can increase the chance of a fire.
Regardless of whether you choose a live or artificial Christmas tree, we have one more important tip for you. When you go to bed or when you leave the house, make sure that you unplug the lights.
Have a Safe Holiday Season!
Thompson Law hopes that you have a safe holiday season. We’re here if you need us. All you have to do is call us at 1-800-LION-LAW.