It’s the holidays, and might mean festive decorations throughout your home. Real Christmas trees are a beautiful tradition, but they can also be dangerous and deadly. Real trees must be properly cared for, or you may end up with a costly insurance claim at best, and at worst? Loss of your home and the lives of those you love.
Here is how you can help prevent your Christmas tree from catching on fire this holiday season.
- When choosing a tree, look for one that is fresh and has green needles that don’t fall out.
- Brownish needles mean the tree is dried out and more prone to catch fire.
- Water your tree daily to prevent it from drying out.
- Check the manufacturer’s labels to ensure you use only lights and decorations that are flame-retardant. Look for a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories, Intertek or the Canadian Standards Association, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Check holiday lights for frayed wires or excessive wear.
- Don’t connect more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
- Keep your tree at least 3 feet away from any heat source, such as a fireplace, radiator, candles or lights.
- Make sure your tree is not blocking an exit. In case there is a fire, you want a way to get out.
- Always turn off lights on a tree before going to bed or leaving your home.
- Get rid of a tree when its needles start dropping. It means the tree is drying out.
- Check that your smoke alarm is working properly.