Every year in the United States, consumers purchase approximately 25-30 million live Christmas trees. Live Christmas trees offer several benefits over artificial trees:
- More than 100,000 people work full or part-time in the industry;
- For every live tree cut down, one to three seedlings are planted each spring;
- They provide a lovely natural fragrance in your home;
- They offer a way to create family memories and traditions; and
- You get fresh air and exercise if you cut down your own tree.
While Christmas trees offer many benefits, they can be a fire hazard if not properly cared for. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2015 -2019, Christmas trees caused approximately 160 home fires each year.
Here are some tips to keep your home and family safe this holiday season.
1. Freshness. A freshly-cut tree will last longer than a tree purchased at a tree lot, so visit a tree farm if you can. This link will help you find a tree farm near you. If you select a pre-cut tree, make sure the needles are green and don’t fall off when touched.
2. Add water daily. A Christmas tree is like a pet; it needs water each day. The more you care for your tree, the more enjoyment it will provide. So if you have a daily routine with your pets – and even if you don’t -- add watering your tree to your daily routine.
3. Proper spacing. Make sure your tree is approximately three feet away from your home’s heat source i.e. vents, fireplaces, and radiators.
4. Inspect your lights. Make sure your lights are in good working order. Check for cracked wiring and flickering lights. If you have a string of lights that flickers or goes out after you put it on a tree, throw it away and buy a new string. If you have pets, it’s even more important to inspect the wiring. You never know what they do during the day when you’re not home.
5. Always turn off Christmas tree lights. Before leaving your home or going to bed for the evening, always unplug your lights. If the lights are on a timer, set your timer only for awake hours.
To see how fast a dry tree can catch fire, compared to a properly-watered tree, check out the video below.
Do you have any tips or information you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them; please share them in the box below.