Christmas Trees Can Be Fire Hazards During Holiday Season
Tips on keeping your home safe over the winter season.
As you celebrate the holidays this season, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends you take a look around and make sure your holiday decorations aren't fire hazards.
Between 2003-2008, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 260 home fires that started with Christmas trees each year, according to the NFPA. Fires involving Christmas trees caused an average of 14 deaths, 26 injuries and $13.8 million in direct property damage annually, with one of every 21 fires resulting in death.
According to the NFPA, one-third of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems, while a heat source too close to the tree causes one in every five fires.
The NFPA encourages tree owners to take the following precautions:
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
- Get rid of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.