Christmas trees are one of the most popular decorations that homeowners choose to put up during the holiday season. These trees give your home a more festive feel, and there’s simply nothing like waking up to presents under the tree on Christmas morning. Christmas trees can be decorated however you like, complete with lights, ornaments, garland, bows and much more.
However, when you opt to put up a real, beautiful tree in your home, it is important to ensure that you take the necessary steps to prevent it from being a major fire hazard. In fact, thousands of household fires occur each year due to Christmas trees. Avoid this issue by taking advantage of the tips below.
Choosing a Tree
The first step in preventing a fire hazard is to select a tree that is in good, living condition. When picking a tree, press your fingers together and run them along a branch to ensure that too many needles do not fall off. Those with needles that fall off in large clumps may dry up and die faster than healthier trees.
Putting up the Christmas Tree
When you first purchase your real Christmas tree and bring it home from the farm or the lot, you’ll want to find the perfect place in your home to display it. Choosing the right location is one of the most important parts of preventing a fire hazard. Place your Christmas tree at least three feet away from any heat source in your home including heating vents, the fireplace, candles and radiators. Trees located too close to a heat source have a greater chance of catching on fire.
Watering the Tree
With a real Christmas tree, it is especially important to keep it watered. Keeping your tree watered will prevent it from dying and drying up too quickly. During the first few weeks, you tree may drink up to 2 gallons of water per day. Be sure to fill your tree stand with cool water throughout the day. The stump of the tree should be covered in water.
Decorating, Lights and More
As you decorate your Christmas tree, keep in mind that some decorations may be a fire hazard if not installed correctly. Opt to string lights on the tree that are made for both indoor and outdoor use. You will want to pick lights that have been tested in a facility before purchasing. LED lights are also a great option, as they do not get hot. Old bulbs that get hot when plugged in can potentially cause a fire on your Christmas tree. In addition, place your Christmas tree near an electrical outlet so that additional extension cords are not needed. Not only can extension cords be an eyesore, but they can also add to the potential of a fire occurring.
Unplugging Your Lights
Always make sure that you unplug the lights on your Christmas tree before leaving the house or going to bed. This will give you the peace of mind to know that your beautiful tree and home will still be standing when you get back. You may also opt to put your lights on a timer so that they come on and shut off during your desired times each day.