Oh, Christmas Tree: Safety
It’s December and many homes have their Christmas decoration decking the halls in true holiday spirit. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2011 and 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 200 home fires that began with a Christmas tree. (See Fact Sheet HERE.) Dried out trees are a fire hazard and should be properly maintained during the month of December and disposed of properly after Christmas (or when it is dry). If you’ve never watched the live Christmas tree burn conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), follow the link HERE to watch a minute and a half video on how quickly a dried-out Christmas tree fire burns in comparison to a well-watered tree.
Here are a couple pointers from the NFPA to help you stay fire safe during this holiday season:
- Pick a fresh tree; less dry, less flammable
- Cut 2” off the base of the trunk before placing in water; water daily
- Keep away from heat sources such as heaters, fireplaces, candles and even lights.
- Use lights with a recognized testing lab label; use accordingly if meant for indoor or outdoor use
- Replace lights with broken cords, loose bulb connections and ensure that manufacturer’s instructions are followed when connecting several strands of Christmas lights
- Also, the 20th century called to remind us to PLEASE NOT use candles on Christmas trees.