Have you put up your tree yet? An average of 250 Christmas tree fires are reported each year in the U.S., according to the National Safety Council. Live trees, especially, require extra care inside your home, and need to be watered often to help prevent fire hazards. Depending on the size of your tree, a live tree can require up to 1 ½ gallons of water daily.
Here are some other important safety tips:
- Before placing your tree onto its stand, it’s recommended to cut 1-2 inches off the bottom of the trunk to help remove any dried sap and allow the tree to more easily absorb water. Keep the stand filled with water.
- Make sure your tree is placed in a safe area. Keep it at least 3 feet from fireplaces, furnaces, candles, radiators, and other sources of heat.
- Never place breakable tree ornaments on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them, and avoid placing flammable materials on the tree.
- Check on your tree often. If the water level isn’t moving (day to day), then the tree isn’t taking up water. This could lead to a dangerous drying out, and you may need to check the trunk for dried sap or other obstructions. Leaking water can pose risks also, and could create an electrical fire hazard if it came into contact with cords from lights and decorations.
- Get rid of your tree before it dries out. Most trees can last between 6 and 8 weeks, but once the needles start falling off or turning brown, then the tree needs to be disposed of. Dried-out trees can pose a major fire risk.
- With artificial trees, make sure to choose a fire resistant tree, one that has been tested and labeled. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Label.
- Don’t cram more than three light sets onto any extension cord. Extension cords should not be placed under rugs, but placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards.
- Always turn of all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.
For more information, visit the National Safety Council website.Free Initial Consultation