Fresh holiday trees are beautiful, smell great and really add to the spirit of the season. Following some proven safety tips might 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. The trees will burn very hot and quickly when they are dry and could spread outside of the fireplace which could cause an unfriendly fire.
- Check to see if there is a recycling program for holiday trees 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.”