Embracing the festive spirit, Christmas brings joy and warmth as we adorn our surroundings with cherished decorations. The iconic Christmas tree stands as a symbol of the season, an integral part of the holiday tradition for many. While the merriment is abundant, it’s crucial to recognize the potential risks associated with Christmas tree fires. As a trusted local fire restoration company, the First Response Disaster Team is committed to ensuring your family’s safety during this festive season. Here are essential Christmas tree fire prevention tips to safeguard your home:
Preventing Smoke Damage
The Reality of Christmas Tree Fires: Regrettably, Christmas trees, under certain conditions, can become combustible. FEMA highlights that half of holiday fires result from decorations being placed too close to heat sources. The NFPA provides alarming statistics:
- Between 2015-2019, an annual average of 160 home fires stemmed from Christmas trees.
- These fires caused an average of two deaths, 12 injuries, and $10 million in property damage.
- Half of Christmas tree fires are attributed to faulty lighting equipment or overloaded electrical distribution.
- Two out of every five Christmas tree fires originate in the living room.
Christmas Tree Safety Guidelines
Ensuring a Safe and Enjoyable Holiday:
Choosing a Tree:
- Opt for a natural tree with fresh, green needles that remain firmly attached.
- Cut the trunk at a 45-degree angle and keep it in water.
Maintaining Your Tree:
- Keep the tree stand consistently filled with water.
- Water the tree daily to prevent it from becoming a quick-burning hazard.
- Maintain a minimum of 3 feet between the tree and heat sources like fireplaces, candles, or radiators.
- Avoid obstructing exits with the tree.
- Confirm the functionality of smoke alarms on each level, outside sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms.
Decorating Your Tree:
- Choose non-flammable decorations.
- Only use lights tested by recognized laboratories such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or ETL/ITSNA.
- Inspect holiday light strands for frayed or pinched wires before installation.
- Turn off lights when not at home or during sleep hours.
- If using candles, keep them at least 12 inches away from flammable items, or consider battery-operated flameless alternatives.
Disposing of Your Tree:
- Properly dispose of the tree after Christmas or when it becomes dry.
- Many localities collect trees during scheduled trash pick-ups after the holiday season.
Wishing You a Secure and Happy Holiday Season
As the holiday season approaches, prioritize safety while relishing the festive atmosphere. The First Response Disaster Team extends warm wishes for a joyous and secure holiday season. Remember, we’re available 24/7 for any fire damage restoration needs. Contact us today to learn more and ensure a safe celebration for you and your loved ones.