'Tis the Season - Fire Safety Tip #1
'Tis the Season to be festive and merry with decorations around the house. You will most likely find amidst those decorations the glorious Christmas Tree in all its glory!
According to the NFPA, between 2013-2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year.
Here are a few tips to help prevent a tragedy in your home this year.
- Pick a fresh-looking tree
Fresh trees are much less likely to catch fire, according to the American Christmas Tree Association. If purchasing a real Christmas tree, it’s essential to choose a tree with green needles, regardless of the type of tree.
You can also tell a fresh tree from a dry one by handling the foliage. Signs of a fresh tree include soft and flexible needles that don’t easily fall off.
Fir needles from a fresh tree should crisply snap if you fold them. Experts recommend continuing to test your tree’s needles for freshness throughout its duration in your home.
- Keep the tree watered
Constant moisture is key, because a dried-out Christmas tree in a home is a recipe for disaster.
In fact, a parched tree can burn faster than newspaper, according to the NFPA.
Experts recommend keeping a real tree watered at all times to ensure that it remains consistently moist.
A medium to large Christmas tree can drink up to a gallon of water a day.
- Keep tree away from heat
Ensure that the tree is at least 3 feet way from any heat source, including fireplaces, radiators or heat vents, the NFPA recommends.
Experts also recommend that lit candles should NEVER be used to decorate a tree.
- Shake the tree
Give your real tree a good shake, experts suggested. If you find that a lot of needles fall to the ground, it’s a sign that the tree isn’t getting enough water, which poses a fire risk.
- Check the tree’s lights
Faulty lights can cause a tree to ignite, which is why It’s essential to check the lights you use to decorate the tree.
The NFPA recommends using lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory and keeping in mind that some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
Examine the lights and keep an eye out for any frayed wires, broken bulbs and any loose connections, he recommended. If you spot signs of damage or wear, the lights should be replaced.
Experts also recommend preventing a short circuit by avoiding overloading extension cords and power sockets with Christmas tree light strands.
- Turn off your tree’s lights
Ensure that your lights are always turned off when you’re not around to keep an eye on them, experts suggested.
- Get rid of your tree soon after the holidays
We at SERVPRO of North Prince William County wish you a Safe and Happy Holiday!