Christmas is a time of joy, and the many decorations and ornaments are beloved symbols of the season. For many families, decking the halls would be incomplete without a Christmas tree. Although a fun and festive way to celebrate the Yuletide, Christmas trees have the potential to turn deadly if not properly cared for. As an experienced fire restoration company, E and K Restore wants to help you and your family stay safe with these important Christmas tree safety tips.
The Importance of Christmas Tree Fire Prevention
Unfortunately, Christmas trees are a known combustible with the right conditions. According to FEMA and the NFPA, 1 in 4 winter fires resulted from a heat source being too close to the tree. Half of the fires were caused by faulty electrical distribution or lighting equipment. 42% of Christmas tree fires begin in the living room.
Because of these statistics, it is paramount that you adequately care for your tree. The video below shows the difference between a well-watered tree and a dry tree.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips
- If your family chooses a natural tree, opt for a tree with fresh, green (not brown) needles that do not fall off when touched. The base should be cut at a 45-degree angle and placed in water. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
- Water your tree daily. Un-watered trees burn hot and fast.
- Only use non-flammable decorations.
- Maintain a minimum of 3 feet between your tree and heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents.
- Do not block access points and exits with the tree.
- Only use lights that have been evaluated by a nationally-recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or ETL/ITSNA.
- Inspect holiday lights each year before you put them up. Throw away frayed and pinched light strands.
- Turn off lights when you’re away or sleeping.
- Keep candles a minimum of 12 inches away from other items. Only use stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked over. Try using battery-operated flameless candles instead.
- Properly dispose of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Many localities collect trees during regularly scheduled trash pick-ups after Christmas.
- Ensure that your smoke alarms are working. You should have one on each level, outside sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms.
Stay Safe and Healthy This Season
After a tough year, we know you are looking forward to some holiday cheer. Use these safety tips to stay safe while enjoying food, family, and fun. E and K Restore 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.