We’re pretty sure that you are aware that Christmas trees can cause indoor fires. It’s pretty common knowledge. But have you ever seen just how quickly the fire and devastation can occur? With a dried-out Christmas tree, the danger is tremendous. Here’s a video of the remarkable damage that can occur from a tree fire in less than one minute:
Christmas tree fires aren’t common, thankfully, but when they do occur, they are devastating. One in every 31 fires caused by Christmas trees results in a death, where one in 144 structure fires not caused by Christmas trees results in a death.
The two biggest causes of Christmas tree fires are electrical problems and a heat source too close to the tree. There are a few things you want to be sure you do when installing lights and choosing a location for your Christmas tree this year:
- Keep a tree away from combustible materials. Also, try not to place a tree directly in front of or above furnace vents (which can help dry out a tree much like a hairdryer).
- Don’t use real candles in or around a tree.
- Check your lights—and check them twice. Find out which lights are naughty or nice.
- Also, check your cords and outlets. Any sign of damage should be a sign that it’s time to replace whatever is damaged.
- WATER YOUR TREE. A dried-out tree is very dangerous. A well-watered tree? Not so much.
- After the holidays, dispose of your tree quickly. It might be nice to save it for a while, but the dryer it gets, the greater the chance for a fire.
- Do not use overloaded extension cords to power the lights used on and around the tree. (Do not ever use an overloaded extension cord.)
Enjoy the holiday season, but please make sure that you stay safe this year!
Henry Duckstein Jr.