Christmas Tree Fire Safety

Christmas Tree Fire Safety
Before you buy:

Is the christmas tree dry ?

To test the tree, run a branch through your hand. If the needles fall off or if the branch seems brittle, move on-the tree is already too dry. Other signs of a dry or deteriorating tree include wrinkled bark, discolored needles, and a musty odor.

For that reason, taking precautions when choosing and decorating a tree becomes extremely important.

While you have your tree:
  1. Water your tree daily. Constant watering keeps trees fresher longer, but the moment the tree appears to drop its needles, it’s a sign that it is drying out.
  2. Use approved lights and connect them properly. Choose lights tested and approved, check to see if the lights have the CE mark which proves it has been tested as safe for the european market. Avoid connecting multiple extension cords and more than three strands of lights.
  3. Inspect Lights and Decorations. Before decorating your tree, lay out strings of lights and look for any broken or missing lights. Needles can get stuck in empty light sockets, creating a potential fire hazard.
  4. Toss damaged lights and decorations. Don’t attempt to repair light strings if they are worn, frayed or show other problems. Throw them away and buy a new set of lights.
  5. Choose your tree’s location carefully. Place the tree away from stairs, where fire can quickly travel to bedrooms. Avoid placing it near heat sources, such as a wood stove or fireplace. Being close to radiators and heat vents can more quickly dry out a tree.
  6. Avoid using candles near the tree. Naked flames cause a lot of fires all year round, try not use candles this christmas and if you do ensure they are away from the tree and not accessible to children, animals or heavy traffic areas in your house.
  7. Keep pets safe. Pets can chew, paw and otherwise damage lights and potentially knock over the tree.
  8. Unplug at night. Never leave the tree plugged in when you are away from home or asleep.
  9. Close bedrooms doors. Closing your bedroom doors at night can keep out harmful smoke and flames in the event of a Christmas tree fire, giving you more time to escape.
  10. Test smoke alarms. Make sure smoke alarms are properly located and in working order.
  11. Have a fire evacuation plan, prepare a plan on what to do in the case of a fire. How do you and your family evacuate your house in the case of a fire.

Taking these precautions to help make your home safer over the holidays can help you enjoy your Christmas tree and help keep your family safe.

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