With the food hangover from Thanksgiving wearing off, people everywhere are getting into the Christmas spirit by humming Christmas carols, shopping for the perfect gift for their loved ones, and decorating their homes. Whether you stack your presents under a real tree or an artificial one, here are some helpful safety tips to ensure your holiday is safe and jubilant.
- When choosing a Christmas tree, be sure that any artificial tree is certified as flame retardant. Real trees should be fresh. Dry needles on a real tree are a fire hazard so be sure that the needles are not brittle. Needles should be soft and pliable, with a green sheen to them.
- Make sure you place your Christmas tree at least three feet away from any heat source such as heaters, fireplaces, candles, or lamps. If using a real tree, be sure that you water the tree daily to keep the tree from drying out.
- When lighting the tree, be sure that the light cords are not worn or frayed and the bulb fasteners are in good condition with no loose connections. If lighting the outside of your home, be sure that the lights you choose are meant for outdoor use.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree. Trees and fire do not mix.
- Always turn off your Christmas tree lights when leaving the house or going to bed for the night.
The cost of being careless with your Christmas tree is staggering. According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. firefighters responded to an average of 230 Christmas tree fires between 2007 and 2011. The result was an average of six deaths, 22 injuries, and $18.3 million in property damage per year. Be sure to decorate safely to ensure that your holiday is safe and merry!
For additional holiday safety tips, watch our video above or visit www.nfpa.org.