The holiday time is full of hustle and bustle, cleaning and decorating, baking and gift wrapping. Yards and houses are decorated with beautiful displays of lights, lawn ornaments, and trees. Unfortunately, this often leads to an increased risk of fire, and other safety hazards. Rottler offers some tips on getting through the holidays safely:
If you buy a real Christmas tree, be sure to choose a tree that is fresh. The needles should not fall off when touched, and should not easily break in half. An old and dried out tree poses an extreme fire risk. According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), “Christmas trees account for 250 fires annually, resulting in 14 deaths, 26 injuries and more than $13.8 million in property damage.”
Cut about 2 inches off of the bottom of the trunk to expose fresh wood before you put the tree in the stand. This helps the tree to absorb water better, and keeps it green and wet longer.
Be sure to add fresh water to the tree stand every day. A tree in your heated house will dry out very quickly.
If you decide to go with an artificial Christmas tree, make sure to pick one that is labeled as fire-resistant.
All trees should be at least several feet from any heat source, including space heaters, fire places, and radiators.
When it comes time to put the lights on the tree, remember to use fire-resistant lights made of non-combustible materials. Thoroughly check over light for frays or wire shorts. Also, NEVER use candles to light a real Christmas tree; this is just asking for disaster.
Video courtesy of the US Fire Administration