Fire-proof Holiday Season

How to Have a Happy and Fire-proof Holiday Season

With the holiday season in full swing, twinkling lights and tinsel likely abound on your beautiful fresh cut or artificial trees. While celebrating the spirit of the season with beautiful decorations it’s important that you remember safety is the first priority. According to the American Christmas Tree Association, Christmas trees cause $13 million in property damages every year. Yikes, that doesn’t sound like the way to make merry this holiday season.

Fresh cut trees waft with a wonderful pine aroma that is hard to resist. No one suggests you forgo this added spice to your holiday life, but you should heed the following tips to be sure to keep your family and home safe from the potential of fire. You should also check with your property manager or landlord to ensure that live trees are acceptable, because of the possible hazard. Although live trees are more hazardous, there is still the need to be cautious with artificial trees and lights as well. Be sure to test your lights and don’t overload outlets. Also, be sure that Fido and Fluffy aren’t able to get to your tree and sockets causing the possibility of a shortage.

The following are some tips from the American Christmas Tree Association so that your holidays are safe and free of worry.

  • Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles readily.
  • Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
  • Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety, and throw out any damaged lights.
  • Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement, and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
  • Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and décor.
  • Bedtime means lights off! ­ Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.
  • When your tree begins to drop its needles, it’s time to say goodbye to your evergreen foliage until next year.