When you deck the halls this holiday season, keep fire safety in mind. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), half of all Christmas tree fires are caused by either an electrical problem or a heat source too close to the tree.
When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire-Retardant.” Although this label does not mean the tree will not catch fire, it does indicate that the tree will resist burning and extinguish quickly.
When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness:
- check for green needles that are hard to pull from the branches
- check for flexible needles that bend between your fingers without breaking
- check that the tree does not lose many needles when tapped on the ground
- cut off about two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption
- keep the stand filled with water
When setting up a tree, place it away from fireplaces, radiators, portable heaters, heater vents, electronics, and electrical equipment. Heated rooms rapidly dry live trees. Using old lights, frayed cables, power strips with too many things plugged into them, and having candles and other heat sources too close to the tree are all potential dangers.