As you decorate your home for the holidays, it’s important to make sure you’re aware that certain holiday decorations can increase the risk of a house fire. While you’re probably aware of the dangers of candles, you may not know that Christmas trees can catch fire and burn the whole house down!
Even if you get a small fire on your tree, it can spread quickly until it becomes a serious danger to your home and everyone inside it, but don’t just take our word for it. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.”
Important Facts from the NFPA
- More than one out of every four fires started by Christmas trees are caused by electrical issues.
- One in every four Christmas tree fires are caused by a heat source that is too close to the Christmas tree.
Christmas Tree Safety
Christmas tree safety begins with picking the right tree. As you shop for a tree, make sure you choose one that is fresh and has green needles. You don’t want the needles to fall off when you touch them as this is a sign the tree is too dry to bring home.
- Before you put the tree in the stand, the NFPA says to cut 2” from the base of the tree trunk.
- Always keep the tree at least three feet away from all heat sources, such as candles, heat vents, and fireplaces.
- Do not put the tree someplace where it’s blocking an exit.
- Be sure to add water to the tree stand every day to keep the tree from drying out.
- Do not use lights that have worn cords or loose bulb connections.
- Do not use real lit candles on the tree for decoration.
- Every night, turn off the Christmas tree lights before you go to bed.
What to Do After Christmas
It’s best to get rid of the Christmas tree right after Christmas, especially if it’s dry. When you have a dried-out tree in your home or garage, it’s a fire risk. So, even if you haven’t gotten rid of it entirely, at least place it outside the house and NOT against your home where it continues to be a fire hazard. Don’t know how to discard your tree? Our advice is to check around your local community to find out if there is a tree recycling program.
We hope you found this information helpful. If you need to file a personal injury claim, we invite you to contact Jones & Swanson today!