Fresh Christmas trees are beautiful, smell great and really add to the spirit of the season.
You can enjoy this time of year even more if you follow these proven safety tips to help you avoid a disaster and keep the Grinch away!
- Select a tree with fresh green needles that don’t fall off when touched or when the trunk is tapped on the ground.
- When trees are cut too early, they have a greater risk of drying out and can become more dangerous especially with electrical lights.
- Cut 1” to 2” off the base of the tree before placing it in the stand to facilitate it drawing water to the limbs and quills.
- Trees require water similar to cut flowers or they’ll dry out. Tree stands should hold at least one gallon of water and it should be checked every day. A six foot tree could use up to a gallon of water every two days.
- Position the tree a minimum of three feet or further from heat source like fireplaces, space heaters, heat vents or candles. Do not allow the tree to block an exit.
- Lights should be labeled from an independent testing laboratory and intended for indoor use.
- Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for how many strings of lights can be connected to each other.
- Turn off all tree lights when you go to bed or leave the home.
- If the tree becomes dry and begins shedding needles, it can be a fire hazard and should be removed from the home. Even if the holidays are not over, it is not worth the risk to keep it in your home.
- After the gifts have been opened, don’t return the paper and boxes under the tree.
- Remove the tree as soon as possible after the holidays.
- Trees should never be burned in a fireplace. They will burn very hot and quickly when dry and could spread outside of the fireplace which could cause an unfriendly fire.
- Check to see if there is a tree recycling program in your community.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that “one of every three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical failures and a heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every six of the fires.”