Everyone loves the holidays and if you’re like most who celebrate Christmas, we’re sure that the festivities are going to include a Christmas tree. And don’t get us wrong – we love our Christmas trees but if you don’t pay attention to them, they can pose a significant safety issue.
In fact, over $13 million dollars of property damage occurs each year – just due to Christmas trees alone. Crazy, right? With that in mind, today we’re going to share some rules with you that can help minimize the risk of something going wrong. That way, you don’t have to worry as much about safety over the holidays and instead focus your efforts on the thing that matter – making memories with your family. Let’s jump right in!
Rule #1 – Fresh trees are far less likely to catch fires than trees that are not. When choosing a Christmas tree, look for vibrant, green needles that are both hard to pluck and bend but won’t break. That’s a sure-fire sign that you have a fresh, healthy tree. If the tree looks like it’s already shedding its needles, don’t use it as chances are that the tree is beginning to dry up.
Rule #2 – Keep your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators and especially candles. The same also goes for places like in front of a heating vent. If you do place your tree next to a heating source, you are drastically increasing the odds that your tree will dry out and a dry tree is far more likely to catch fire. In addition to keeping your tree away from heat sources, make sure you keep plenty of water in the basin. This way your tree should maintain an acceptable level of hydration. If you want a pro tip – cut the base at a 45 degree angle so that water is absorbed better and you’ll extend the lifespan of your tree even more.
Rule #3 – Test your lights! Look for burnt out or broken bulbs and frayed wires. We also recommend that you plug your lights in solo for a little while. That way you’ll be able to identify malfunctioning bulbs quicker – but you’ll also be able to touch the cable after a few minutes to see if it’s heating up. That can be a telltale sign of a potential malfunction.
Rule #4 – Make sure the lights you’re using are being used where they should be being used. Outdoor lights are for outdoor use. Indoor lights are for indoor use. Be careful to make sure that you’re reading the labeling on packaging and on the cords themselves – as they’ll tell you where your lights can (and can’t) be used. Doing so can prevent breakers from tripping, hazards from happening and lights from simply not working.
Rule #5 – When you’re not in the house and when you go to bed – turn off the lights! We get it – Christmas trees are super pretty and awesome to look at and heck, some of us even like to show them off in the window. But that being said, lights generate heat and heat can dry out your tree. And a dried out tree can become a significant safety risk.
Additionally, light systems that are working just fine can all of a sudden work not-so-fine and malfunction without warning. Please don’t leave your lights on, but more importantly – don’t leave them unattended. You never know what can happen.
Rule #6 – When your tree begins to drop its needles, it’s time to say goodbye. No Christmas tree lasts forever and it’s important that when it finally goes – that you get rid of it so you don’t have a full blown fire hazard sitting in your home. As soon as you see the needles begin to drop, it’s time to move on.
We love the holiday season and hopefully yours will be filled with a lot of fun, laughter and love. Follow these tips and you can make sure that you’re spending less time worrying about safety and a whole lot more time focusing on what matters. Good luck and happy holidays!