Tips to Keep Your Christmas Tree From Catching Fire
This time of year, we all enjoy the decorations, music and festivities of the holiday season. One of the most important elements of decor to many is the Christmas tree. This iconic image makes its appearance once a year in downtown areas, stores and of course living rooms all across the country. One concern for many who choose to put a beautiful tree in their home is if it is in fact a fire hazard.
According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) between 2013-2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. Another staggering fact from the NFPA is that on average, one of every 52 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 135 total reported home fires. Now we don’t want to dissuade anyone from enjoying a tree in their home, we simply hope that you take proper precautions to not become a statistic.
Some of the best tips to protect your home or business from a Christmas tree fire are quite simple to do.
This list should help to ensure a safe and happy holiday, without a devastating Christmas tree fire:
- Make sure string lights are in excellent condition and do not have loose connections, cracked lamps or frayed cords.
- Use only a single extension cord that can reach your home's outlet without being too long and being tangled.
- Use UL-approved lights and cords.
- Make sure lights are off when you go out and before you turn in for the night.
- Make sure all outdoor light connectors are away from metal rain gutters and off the ground.
- Never use candles to light or decorate a tree.
- Purchasing a freshly cut tree can lessen the chance of a fire hazard, and it smell better!
- Ensure your tree is at least three feet away from any heat source.
- Water the tree every day and remove it from your home after Christmas or once it becomes dry.
- Avoid burning Christmas tree branches or wrapping paper in your fireplace.
- Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that could burn.
This video from the National Fire Prevention Association shows that in less than a minute a Christmas tree fire can be extremely damaging.
SERVPRO of Southeast Salem wishes all our friends and neighbors a safe and happy holiday season. If you are unfortunate enough to experience a fire this season remember that we are always, “Here to help.”