Having a holly, jolly Christmas includes having a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, and sipping hot chocolate by the fire – but it does not include having that fire or tree decorations burn your house down. Every year, homes fall victim to careless use of flammable objects, and it is easily prevented. Here are a few of the ways you can avoid any disasters this holiday season.
Placement of Tree
Before you find a permanent placement for your tree, make sure that it is at least three feet away from anything that causes heat. This could be the fireplace, heaters, candles, or lights. Usually a good place to put a tree is in a corner, so it doesn’t block any exits from the room.
Live vs. Fake Trees
Choosing between a fake or a live tree can be a difficult decision. Live trees provide a natural pine smell but are more of a fire hazard and involve a lot more work to clean and take care of it. Fake trees, on the other hand, are easy to set up and don’t involve maintenance, but finding a place to store it for a year can be tricky.
If you’re planning on getting a live tree, be sure you know exactly how to care for it. Find one that is fresh with green needles. If the needles fall when you touch it, it is too dry and will be a fire hazard if lights are placed on it. Once you find the perfect tree, cut one to two inches off the base of the trunk, and place it in a tree stand with water. Continue to add more water to the stand daily, until the tree begins to dry out and drop needles. At this point (usually four weeks after it is cut), it needs to be thrown away.
If you opt for a fake tree instead of a real one, check the box to make sure that it has been certified as fire retardant by the manufacturer.
Lighting the Tree
Families want to continue to maintain traditions every Christmas, and part of that is the way the tree is decorated. However, Christmas lights on the tree should be checked annually and replaced when needed. Any lights that are missing bulbs or have broken cords should be replaced. Make sure that the lights you use on the tree are specifically marked for indoor use, and never use candles as tree decorations. Indoor and outdoor lights alike should be turned off before going to sleep for the night.
Stay Safe this Christmas
Whether you’re using a real or fake tree this Christmas, maintain the Christmas spirit while staying safe. Remember to always check the type of tree and lights you use, and to take the necessary safety precautions to avoid a fire hazard. Don’t let your magical Christmas memories be marred with a damaging fire – keep up the happiness and joy by staying safe this Christmas.