Every year for the holidays we gather with friends and family to celebrate. We spend quality time with family and cherish what we’re grateful for. Leading up to the holidays there are rituals of putting up your favorite holiday ornaments, lights, knick-knacks, and more. One of these holiday rituals can present a risk in your home when it comes to causing fires; a Christmas tree.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments in the United States responded to an average of 200 home fires per year that began with Christmas trees, both real and artificial. These fires caused an annual average of 6 civilian deaths, 16 civilian injuries, and $14.8 million in direct property damage.
Tips for preventing a Christmas tree fire:
- Dry Christmas trees are the biggest reason for why a tree fire starts. When picking out your tree, look for fresh green needles that do not fall off when touched.
- Add water to your tree daily.
- Make sure your tree is at least three feet away from any heat source.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Make sure you clean up any needles that do fall off the tree on a regular basis.
- Check your holiday lights for split or fraying wires.
- Always turn off the lights on a tree when leaving your home or going to bed.
- Check that your smoke alarm is working correctly.
- Have a fire extinguisher close by and know how to use it.
- Remove your tree immediately after Christmas. A tree will dry out and the longer the tree is in your home the more at risk you are for a fire.
Of course, these tips may not completely remove the risk of having a Christmas tree fire, but they will lower your risk. Want to see what happens when a Christmas Tree is not properly maintained? Watch this video: