The holiday season is a fun time for decorations, giving, family and friends. Help keep your home and family safe with proper tree care and home safety. Here are some facts and tips to help you maintain a safe environment.
First though, did you know…
[fact] Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in two out of every five (40%) home Christmas tree fires.
[fact] More than one-third (37%) of home Christmas tree fires started in the living room, family room, or den.
[fact] The top three days for home candle fires were Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.
[fact] Between 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 200 home fires per year that started with Christmas trees.
[fact] In one-quarter (26%) of the Christmas tree fires, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was
too close to the tree.
[fact] 42% percent of reported home Christmas tree fires occurred in December and 37% were reported in January.
Keep your tree healthy
The most safe tree for your home will have fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. If they do, then the tree is dry and unhealthy. Dry trees are one of the leading causes of home fires during the season. If you already have that tree picked out, make sure you are providing adequate water and that it’s not setup near anything hot like candles or radiators.
Check your tree’s placement
 Make sure it’s cut 2” from the base of the trunk.
 Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
 Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
 Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
Check all lighting and decorations
 Use them properly. It’s best to use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory.
 Know where your lights belong. Some brands of lighting are only for indoor or outdoor use, not both.
 Replace any damaged lights, chords or plugs immediately.
 Read manufacturer’s instructions for the limit to how many strands you can connect.
 Never use real lit candles to decorate the tree, inside or outside.
 Turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
 Dispose of the tree soon after Christmas.
 Don’t leave a dead tree in your home, garage or near the house. A dry, dead tree is a fire hazard.
 Know the tree disposal policy in your community. Tree that are not handled properly can be dangerous for your neighbors too.
 Bring lights inside. Although it’s fun to leave them up for while, stings become hazards as bulbs fail.
Have a safe and happy holiday season.