Many of us take Christmas trees at the holidays quite seriously. It is understandable why trees serve as the focal point of our celebrations and spread warmth and magic throughout the entire season. Many people experience curiosity, apprehension, and joy in December. Unfortunately, with all the extra shine from sparkling lights and flickering candles, it also increases the chance of fire. Each year, fires brought on by Christmas trees and other holiday illumination cause $18.3 million in property damage. These holiday-related fires are three times more fatal than normal fires.
To safeguard your family and your house this holiday season, follow our tips below:
- Verify before purchasing. Choosing the freshest tree is one of the most important holiday decisions. Fresh trees have softer, more vibrantly green needles that resist falling when touched. Avoid buying a cheap, dry tree as its needles shouldn’t be falling off so quickly!
- Consistently water your tree. To keep the tree’s base from drying up, fill it up with water every day. Regular watering keeps the tree’s branches and needles healthier.
- Keep your tree away from any heat sources. This comprises heaters, candles, space heaters, fireplaces, radiators, and lights. Even though the string lights on your tree are low voltage, it’s important to keep them away from touching your ornaments.
- Check all lights before use. Always take caution when decorating; ensure that all of your Christmas lights are safe and have passed UL (or another recognized laboratory) safety testing. Additionally, always get rid of any broken Christmas lights. This includes all exposed wires, damaged sockets, and flawed light strings.
- Don’t overload your power strips. Never plug more than three strings of lights into one socket; instead, double-check the power strip’s capacity. To avoid a tripping hazard, it’s a good idea to fasten cables around walls. Additionally, never tuck cords under carpets or rugs!
- Never leave the lights on. Don’t forget to switch off your Christmas tree lights before leaving the house and at night before going to bed. Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, furniture, and other decorations.
- Be ready for fire safety in the home. Always keep a fire extinguisher handy, and make sure that everyone, including children, is aware of its location and how to use it.
- Recycle your tree, please. Generally, four weeks are safe for having trees inside your home. Recycling them can offer them a second chance at life. Many neighborhoods offer to drop off locations for tree recycling. Recycled trees can also be used to start a compost pile.
Share these tips with your neighbors, family, and friends to help everyone stay safe this holiday season!