According to the NFPA, every 1 in 31 Christmas tree fire is deadly. Most households and businesses across the United States will bring a Christmas tree inside, decorated with ornaments and string lights. While Christmas tree fires are rare, they still happen and can result in fatal injuries. It’s important to be aware of the fire risks that come with owning a Christmas tree so that you can focus on creating the safest environment possible. If you pay attention to your electrical system, extension cords, light hookups, and the tree you choose, you can have a safe Christmas tree inside your home or business. Since we’re approaching the holiday season, consider the following tips when setting up your Christmas tree.
5 Tips to Prevent Christmas Tree Fires
Choose a Fresh Tree
It’s important to pay attention to the type of tree you choose. You’ll want a pine tree that has brilliant, green needles. If you see brown needles, this means that the tree is extremely dry. Avoid dry trees, as they’re more likely to catch on fire. You also want to see soft and flexible needles, as this indicates a healthy tree. Brittle needles that break off the tree easily are signs of an older, dying tree.
Keep the Tree Watered
A tree needs to be constantly watered to keep it healthy. If not, it will become dry quickly, making it more prone to catching on fire. The average Christmas tree can drink up to a gallon of water per day. We recommend keeping the base filled with water so that the tree’s stump never has the opportunity to go dry. You can shake the tree every once in a while to determine that it’s watered enough. If many needles fall, the tree isn’t getting enough water.
Watch Heat Sources
When you set up the Christmas tree inside your home, the NFPA recommends keeping the tree at least 3 feet away from heat sources. This could include fireplaces, vents, or radiators. It’s been found that electrical equipment is involved in 40% of Christmas tree-related fires. If heat sources are located near the Christmas tree, it can be a quick way for fires to gain fuel. Also, when decorating the tree, never use candles. If you do decide to burn a candle, ensure it’s at least 12 inches away from the tree. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are common for candle-related fires to outbreak, so brush up on candle safety if necessary.
Monitor the Lights
- When you choose the lights for your Christmas tree, make sure they are fire-approved and safe for indoor use.
- It’s worth it to invest in high-quality lights.
- Look out for any loose connections or frayed wires, as they could lead to a fire.
- Use a single, quality extension cord that’s not tangled in anything.
- Place your lights on a timer or ensure you turn them off before going to sleep or leaving the building.
- Don’t leave the lights on unmonitored.
Don’t Leave the Tree Up Too Long
After Christmas, it can be easy to leave your Christmas tree up and forget about it. By this point, your tree is probably dried out and needs to be taken down. When getting rid of the tree, don’t burn Christmas tree branches or wrapping paper in the fireplace.
Safe-T Leads in Fire Safety Education
If you want to learn more about fire safety education, check out this page! Safe-T Fire Protection is proud to offer fire services and fire equipment installation in Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama. We hope you have a happy and safe holiday season! If you have any questions or need fire services, reach out to our team today.