During the holiday season, people decorate their homes with candles, Christmas trees and indoor/outdoor lights. These decorations are great to look at, but they can also be a fire safety hazard to your home. According to the United States Fire Administration, one of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical fire causing over $18 million in property damage a year. Christmas tree fires are not common, but when they do occur, they can be very dangerous. It is important to be fire safe when you are decorating your home for the holidays. Below are a few tips to keep your family and your home safe this holiday season:
- If you choose to have an artificial Christmas tree in your home, look for a fire resistant label that should be attached to the tree.
- Freshly cut Christmas trees are green, the needles are hard to pull off and the trunk is sticky with resin. Dried out trees are much more of a fire hazard than a fresh green tree.
- When setting up the tree, cut off at least two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption. Place the live tree in a sturdy stand. Water the tree every day. The fresh tree stand should be filled with water the entire time that the tree is indoors.
- Do NOT place Christmas trees near heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, heat vents, or other heat sources.
- When a tree starts to drop its needles, it means that it is drying out and that it is time to remove it from the home. Do not keep a dried out tree in a garage or against an outside wall of the home. Make sure that you know the Christmas tree recycling programs in your city.
- Before decorating your tree and inside your home, determine how many outlets are available in the room and where they are located. Plan your decoration and Christmas tree placement according to the outlets in the room.
- Check the light strands for broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires or loose connections before you trim the tree or hang the lights.
- Throw away damaged lights or repair them before use.
- The light wires should not be warm to the touch when in use.
- Use no more than 3 standard sets of lights per one extension cord for decoration on the tree or inside the home.
- Use LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.
- Fire safety experts do not recommend using flame candles for holiday decorations. The experts recommend using battery-operated candles or LED lights in your home.
- If using flame candles, place them away from flammable items such as decorations, greenery, and wrapping paper.
- Do not place candle displays them on a table in a high traffic area where they could easily be knocked over.
- Never keep an open flame unattended. Always keep a burning candle within your sight.
- Extinguish the candles before leaving a room or home and going to bed.
- Never use candles to light up a Christmas tree.
Stop N Stor wants to help keep your family safe this holiday season. Once the holidays are over, you will need to store your holiday items somewhere. If you do not have the room in your home to store an artificial Christmas tree, holiday wreaths, outdoor decorations and holiday lights, think about storing your holiday decorations in a self storage unit.