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Christmas Tree Safety: What you Need to Know

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), approximately 210 homes experience a fire each year because of their Christmas trees. The fires caused by trees resulted in over $16 million in property damage each year. As you begin preparing for the holiday season, keep the following tips and suggestions in mind.

Tips to Keep Your Live Christmas Tree Beautiful but Safe

Some people prefer to use live trees each year for Christmas. While live trees smell wonderful and can bring a natural beauty to your home, you need to be careful when using live trees to decorate. A few Christmas tree tips for live trees include:

  • Choose a live tree that has supple, green needles. The needles should not feel brittle or fall off the tree when you run the needles between your fingers.
  • Before placing the tree in a tree stand, trim two inches from the bottom of the tree trunk.
  • Check and add water to your tree stand each day. Fresh trees can “drink” large amounts of water.
  • Don’t place your tree near any heat source. Fresh trees should be kept a minimum of three feet away from radiators, heat vents, lights, fireplaces, and candles.
  • Make sure your tree does not block any exits.
  • Only lights that are quality tested and approved for indoor use on trees should be used on a live tree.
  • If lights have broken cords, worn cords, or loose bulb connections, do not use those lights on your tree.
  • Never use candles to decorate a tree.
  • Before placing decorative lights on a live tree, you need to read all manufacturer’s instructions for use, including the warnings and cautions.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights when you leave home or go to bed.

Dispose of your Christmas tree if it becomes brittle and dry. You can check with local agencies for places to recycle your tree after the holidays.

Safety Tips for Artificial Christmas Trees

If you prefer an artificial Christmas tree, make sure you invest in a safe, stable tree that says it is “Fire Resistant.” Fire resistant does not mean that the tree will not burn; however, it does indicate that the tree is more resistant to burning compared to other artificial trees.

As with live trees, you should never use candles or other combustible items to decorate the tree. Inspect all lights and other decorations to ensure they are safe before placing them on the tree. You should also place artificial trees away from open flames and other sources of heat.

Decorating Tips for Your Christmas Tree

  • Only use indoor lights that have been tested for safety. Discard any lights with frayed cords, bare wires, or loose connections. Do not overload an outlet with too many strands of lights.
  • Be careful when running electrical cords from your tree to the outlet. Do not run cords under rugs or where someone could trip over the cord.
  • Never use electric lights on a metal Christmas tree.
  • If you are utilizing colored spotlights as part of your decorations, never fasten the spotlight to the tree.
  • Avoid using “angel hair” as a decoration. Angel’s hair is spun glass that could irritate eyes and skin.
  • Be cautious when decorating the top of the tree. Use a stepladder when decorating high limbs.
  • If you have small children, avoid using decorations that are sharp, breakable, have small parts, or resemble food or candy.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from The Ken Nunn Law Office

Our entire office offers warm wishes for the holiday season. We hope you and your family have a safe and happy holiday, but if you need our services, we are here for you. You can contact our office by telephone at 1-800-CALL-KEN or 1-800-225-5536 or by using the Live Chat feature on our website.

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