The Dangers of a Dry Christmas Tree

dry christmas tree fireThe holidays bring about a lot of traditions, new and old, for many families. For most households that celebrate Christmas, having a Christmas tree is a must have tradition. If you have chosen to purchase a real tree, there are some safety precautions you should keep in mind this holiday season. We will explain what the dangers of a dry Christmas tree can be and what you can do to help prevent your home from suffering from Christmas tree-related fire damage.

Purchasing the Tree

Each year, there are about 210 reported Christmas tree fires. In some cases, these fires could have been prevented, starting as early as with the purchase of the tree. When it comes to a real tree, be sure to find the freshest one possible. Begin by checking that the needles are green and difficult to pull off. The needles should also be difficult to break when bent between the fingers. Check that the base of the trunk is sticky with resin, as this is another indication that the tree is still fresh. If you go to move the tree and find that it leaves behind a pile of needles when shaken, consider finding a new one.

Placing the Tree

Finding just the right place for your tree where it is out of the way but still highly visible for all to enjoy can be a challenge. While searching for this perfect spot, remember to keep the tree at least three feet away from heat sources such as the fireplace, heat registers, and radiators. Even with this precaution, being in a heated room is going to dry out a real tree faster, and a dry tree will be more prone to catching fire and will burn much faster than a fresh tree. Make sure that you place the tree in a stand that holds an adequate amount of water and that you refill this stand daily. To help with absorption, trim about two inches off of the base of the trunk before placing the tree in the stand. To test that your tree has enough water, pull on the branches. If needles come off easily, your tree is too dry.

Decorating the Tree

Purchase decorations that are labeled as non-combustible or fire-resistant. When buying lights, check for those that are labeled as tested for safety. Check older light strands for any damage, such as frayed or exposed wires, loose connections, or broken sockets. Replace burnt-out bulbs as soon as possible with bulbs of the same wattage. Do not connect more than three strands together, and always make sure to turn off the lights when you are leaving home or go to bed for the night. download how to make a home fire escape plan
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