Christmas is known to be a joyous time. The decorations and ornaments we use to deck the halls are beloved symbols of the season. For many of our customers, the holiday would be incomplete without a festive Christmas tree. However, this fun tradition can have deadly consequences if not properly cared for and watered. As your locally trusted fire restoration company, the First Response Disaster Team wants to help you and your family stay safe with these important Christmas tree fire prevention safety tips.
The Facts About Christmas Tree Fires
Unfortunately, Christmas trees are a known combustible with the right conditions. According to FEMA, half of all holiday fires result from decorations being placed too close to a heat source. Furthermore, the NFPA reports the following facts:
- From 2015-2019, there were an average of 160 home fires from Christmas trees each year.
- These fires cause an average of two deaths, 12 injuries, and $10 million in property damage.
- Half of Christmas tree fires result from faulty lighting equipment or overloaded electrical distribution.
- 2 of very 5 Christmas tree fires begin in the living room.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips for a Safe & Fun Holiday
Because the holidays are meant to be a filled with happiness and cheer, you want to avoid a Christmas tree fire at all costs. Use these safety tips:
Choosing a Tree
- If a natural tree is your preferred option, choose one with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
- The trunk should be cut at a 45-degree angle at the base and placed in water.
Maintaining Your Tree
- Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
- Water the tree daily. An un-watered tree burns hot and very fast.
- Maintain at least 3 feet between the tree and heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents.
- Do not block any exits with the tree.
- Ensure that your smoke alarms are working. You should have one on each level, outside sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms.
Decorating Your Tree
- Opt for non-flammable decorations.
- Only purchase lights that have been tested by a nationally-recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or ETL/ITSNA.
- Inspect all strands of holiday lights before putting them up. Throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires.
- Turn off lights when you’re away from home or sleeping.
- Keep candles 12 inches or more from any flammable items. Consider swapping out the open flames for battery-operated flameless candles. If lit candles are a must, secure them in stable holders where they cannot be easily knocked down.
Disposing of Your Tree
Properly dispose of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Many localities collect trees during regularly scheduled trash pick-ups after Christmas.
Wishing You a Safe and Healthy Holiday Season
We are looking forward to some holiday cheer and we hope you are too. Use these tips to stay safe while enjoying food, family, and fun. The First Response Disaster Team wishes everyone a happy holiday season, and as always, is available 24/7 for your fire damage restoration needs. Contact us today to learn more.