‘Tis the season for Christmas Tree safety.
Don’t let the cost of the holidays go up too much- with unexpected property damage costs. Christmas trees alone, not even counting all the other decorations, result in 13 million dollars a year in property damage. Over 200 tree related fires occur in homes each year, causing expense, damage, injury, and even death.
Tree related damage is uncommon. However, it there is a tree related fire, the damage is often serious and costly.
Whether you choose a live or artificial tree to deck the halls, keep in mind a few safety tips.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips
Real Tree Safety
- If you choose a real tree, get a good one. This is not the time to pick the cheapest thing on the lot. A fresh tree means a wetter tree, which is less of a fire hazard. Needles should be flexible, not breaking when you bend them.
- Don’t forget to water! Your tree stand should always have water in it. You want to make sure the stand is study and durable and won’t topple if faced with kids or pets.
- Practice good cord safety. Only three strands of lights should be used per extension cord. Also, cords should run along walls and not covered with rugs or carpets.
- Keep cool. Your tree needs to stay away from any heat sources that would cause it to overheat, dry out, or become flammable. That means, candles, fireplaces, and even entertainment systems.
- Dispose of trees properly. Don’t put your old natural tree in the garage or prop it up by the side of the house waiting for trash day. The dryer it gets, the more of a fire hazard it becomes. Dispose of it quickly and properly.
For Both Real and Artificial
- Check the lights. Choose low energy lights that are certified safe for real trees. For real and artificial trees both, check for cord damage prior to decorating the tree. Do not use frayed cords!
- Turn off the lights. Christmas lights, tree lights, outside lights, appliances… really, any accessory plugged in should be unplugged each night and when you leave the house.
- Keep a fire extinguisher near. This is a good piece of advice year round in any situation. Get a fire extinguisher and make sure everyone in the home knows where it’s located and how to use it.