Christmas Tree Fire Safety Tips To Protect Your Home From Fire
With the holiday season in full swing, I can’t think of anything that gets my kids more excited than when we gather in the living room and decorate the Christmas tree… a sure sign of more fun to come.
Amidst the fun, however, lurks a frightening, increased threat of a Christmas tree fire. According to the NPFA (National Fire Protection Association), home fires peak during December and January. Nearly 20 percent of home fires ignited by a Christmas tree prove deadly.
Despite these statistics, Christmas time is a time to celebrate family and friends. While gathered together, pull out those decorations and begin the festivities… but stay safe while you do it. Here are a few Christmas tree fire safety tips to keep in mind along the way to a beautifully decorated home.
Tips To Prevent A Christmas Tree Fire
- If you purchase a live tree (and who doesn’t love a live tree?), make sure you keep the tree adequately watered. If the branches exhibit any signs of dryness or begin dropping a significant amount of needles, the tree might be dying. It may bounce back by refilling the water it’s in, but don’t risk a fire by keeping a Christmas tree around past its due – or die – date.
- For any Christmas tree, whether real or artificial, make sure you have a solid Christmas tree stand that is sufficient to keep the tree from falling over. This is especially important if you have pets, because it can sometimes take only a light bump to tip a tree over.
- If you buy an artificial tree, look for the labeling that indicates that it’s fire resistant. This doesn’t mean that it’s fireproof, but will at least resist burning and should extinguish readily.
- Situate your Christmas tree away from walkways to avoid blocking doorways and away from heat sources such as heat ducts. Use only flame-retardant or non-combustible decorations.
- Test your Christmas tree lights (even if they’re new) and check them thoroughly for bare or frayed wires. If you have pets, check them periodically to make sure you don’t have any chew marks on your cords. Unplug tree lights before leaving for the day.
- Don’t overload your outlets with electrical appliances or lights. Twinkling lights look festive, but an overloaded outlet is a serious fire hazard.
- Never leave candles burning if you’re leaving the house and, preferably, stay in the near vicinity as any lit candles. It’s not realistic to think that you’ll be in the same room at all times, but it only takes a moment for an unattended candle to burn more than its wick. This goes double for pet owners, no matter how well behaved your animal is: A curious cat or a rambunctious dog can easily knock over a candle.
- Double check your smoke detectors by pressing the “test” button. If you have a fire protection system that is integral with your home security system, make sure you notify your service provider before running any tests. If the fire department shows up for a false alarm, you could be levied a fine.
Bear in mind that there may be other issues specific to your home that I haven’t covered, so have a look around your house for potential trouble spots. If you’d like to share with me, please to comment below, as I enjoy and welcome feedback!
Most importantly, keep your home security and fire safety in the back of your mind at all times to help ensure you have the most pleasant, blessed and happy holiday possible.