’tis the Season… for Holiday Fire Safety

Don’t Get Burned this Holiday Season

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Christmas tree fires caused $14.8 million in direct property damage between 2011-2015.  On average, one out of every 32 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death.  Thankfully, our friends at Belfor Property Restoration have compiled a list of holiday and Christmas tree safety tips to help keep your season from going up in flames.

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized laboratory (such as UL). Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
  • Read the manufacturer’s recommendation for the number of light strands to connect safely.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn Christmas tree lights off before leaving home or going to bed.
  • For live trees, choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. Add water daily.

After the Holiday… What to Do with the Tree?

  • Safely dispose of your tree within 30 days after Christmas. When Christmas is over or the tree begins to drop needles, dispose of it.
  • Do not leave it in the house or store it in the garage.
  • Never burn Christmas trees (branches or needles) in a fireplace or wood stove. Firs and pines have lots of sap, which can explode.  The needles burn like tinder, quickly and fiercely.  Flames can flare up out of control and ignite creosote deposits in the chimney, causing a fire in the chimney.
  • To dispose of your tree, take it to a tree recycling center or have it hauled away by a community pick-up service. If you in live in the country or a town where there is no tree recycling or pick-up program, contact local authorities for a recommended means of disposal.

Other Holiday Safety Hazards… Candle Fires

The National Fire Protection Association reports that 12% of home candle fires occur in December.  In fact, the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  Some simple ways to help ensure your holidays are incident-free:

  • Keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
  • Don’t burn candles near any flammable items.
  • Make sure lit candles are on stable surfaces.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended or sleep in a room with a lit candle.
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room.

Thanks to our friends at Belfor Property Restoration for providing us with this helpful content.

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