Every year in the United States, consumers purchase approximately 25-30 million real 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 real 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 2009 -2013, Christmas trees caused approximately 210 home fires each year.
Here are some tips to keep your home and family safe this holiday season.
- 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.
- 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.
- Proper spacing. Make sure your tree is approximately three feet away from your home’s heat source i.e. vents, fireplaces, and radiators.
- 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.
- 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.