Holiday Prep Profile: Christmas Trees
As we reflect on our Thanksgiving and look forward to the rest of the holiday season, for many of us, this time of year would not be the same without a Christmas tree.
It’s likely you’ve already started to see lots full of trees popping up all over town, maybe noticing the well-lit evergreens appearing in your neighbors’ windows, or, possibly, you’ve even set up your own tree! These festive firs bring back fond memories for many of Christmases past.
And while the tree if often the centerpiece of the Christmas decorations in many homes, the holiday symbol does come with dangers. We do hate always being the bearers of bad news here, but according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Christmas trees are responsible for about 210 home fires each year in the United States, leaving behind about $13 million in damage.
So, what can you do to ensure your Christmas tree is safe for the season?
First, the NFPA, advises using a modern, artificial tree from a reputable company. These artificial trees are less likely than live trees to start a fire (although you should still make sure to use proper lights on artificial trees and to turn off the lights when you go to bed or leave your home).
However, if you cannot imagine an artificial tree in your home and a real, live tree is the only one for you, there are precautions you can take to lessen your fire risk. The NFPA advises the following:
- Choose a very fresh, green tree with needles that do not fall off when touched.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet from any heat source like fireplaces, candles or heat vents.
- Make sure to water the tree daily.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking any exits.
- Use only lights from reputable companies that have been independently tested.
- Replace any lights with damaged bulbs or cords.
- NEVER use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Do not overload electrical outlets.
- Turn off lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
- Get rid of the tree after Christmas, or as soon as it starts to lose its needles.
Please keep these safety measures in mind as you get into the holiday spirit this year.
Enjoy the holidays, be safe and, remember, you can call us any day of the year, at any time of the day at 920-434-8224.