Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is 23 days away. With 25-30 million Christmas trees sold in the U.S. each year, I'd like to take a moment to point out some safety factors to keep in mind.
Choosing Your Tree
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Setting Up Your Tree
- Before placing the tree in your stand, cut 1-2 inches from the base of the trunk.
- Make sure the tree is at least 3-feet away from any heat source, i.e. fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Add water to the tree stand on a daily basis.
Lighting Your Tree
- Use lights that have the label of a testing laboratory (i.e. the Underwriters Laboratory label UL)
- Make sure you purchase the proper lights. Some are for indoor use only while others are meant for outdoor use.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
- Connect no more than 3-strands of lights. Read the manufacturer's directions for the number of LED strands it is appropriate to connect.
- Never use candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving your property or going to bed.
- Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left inside the home or garage, or placed outside against your home.
- Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards.
One-third of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
Each year, firefighters respond to roughly 260 structure fires caused by Christmas trees.
A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every five of the fires.
Watch this video to see how quickly an unwatered Christmas tree becomes engulfed
in flames as opposed to a well-watered tree.
Information courtesy of the NFPA.