With lights, tinsel, and hundreds of hand-made ornaments, our Christmas trees tell the stories of our family traditions. But it might be scary if your holiday memories start to burn like a Christmas tree.
Even though Christmas tree fires are rare, they can still cause a lot of damage or even kill people. The National Fire Protection Association says that Christmas trees cause an average of 160 house fires each year. The NFPA says that the fires cause $10 million in direct property damage each year because they spread quickly and may kill more than just the tree.
We wish you a happy Christmas and that no fires break out throughout the holiday. We want you to have a Merry Christmas, therefore here are some safety precautions that you should take.
- Test smoke alarms. Installing working smoke detectors on every floor of the house and near where people sleep can help the family know if there is a fire. Smoke detectors save lives because they let people know about a fire quickly enough for them to get out.
- Turn off everything before you leave or go to bed. Don’t plug the tree in when you’re not home or when you’re sleeping.
- Don’t let pets near. Pets can damage the lights on your tree by chewing, pawing, and other means (or even knock the tree over). Because of this, if you have pets, you should check your tree every so often. Check to see if your pet broke the lights or if they go out or start turning on and off by themselves.
- Water your tree. We talked to experts about how to choose the right Christmas tree, but once it’s home, it needs to be watered often. Tip: If you fill your tree stand with warm water when you first get home after a long drive, it will help it absorb more quickly.
- Pick out the most ideal location. Choose a spot that does not have any heating vents, fireplaces, or candles nearby to lower the risk of a fire starting.
- Use lights that are approved and connect them the right way. Choose lights that have been tested by a national testing lab like Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Don’t connect more than three strands of lights or more than one extension cord. Also, make sure to check for damage before using an extension cord. If your lights are old, it might be time to get new ones.