According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) between the years of 2007-2011, U.S. fire department responded to an average of 230 home fires that started with Christmas trees each year. While Christmas lights and other electrical Christmas decorations have gotten considerably safer over the last couple of decades, there are still too many instances of Christmas fires claiming homes, sometimes lives. To help keep you and your family safe this holiday season, the following are a few safety tips for you to follow to potentially prevent Christmas fires.
Get an Appropriate Tree. If you’re getting a real tree this season, ensure that the one you pick out has fresh, green needles that don’t fall off when touched. Shedding needles means your tree is drying out, which is a fire hazard. Getting a fake tree is not without risk either; be sure to check the label to confirm that it’s fire retardant. If it isn’t, it’s not a good idea to decorate it with lights.
Be Aware of Tree Placement. You should place your tree at least three feet away from heat sources; fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, etc. The tree should also be far enough away from an entrance to your home that if you needed to escape a fire, you could.
Use the Right Decorations. Candles were once a popular decoration for Christmas trees. Of course, back then there was also a higher instance of Christmas tree fires! In addition to avoiding candles, make sure that your lights have the label of an independent testing laboratory, and check your strands for any broken bulbs or frayed wires.
Dispose of Your Tree in a Timely Manner. You should get rid of your tree when the needles start falling off. Check with your community to see if they have a tree recycling or disposal program.
At Tri-State Insurance Agency, we understand the importance of protecting not only your home, but your family, your home’s contents, and your financial assets. We understand that determining the right Essex County Home Insurance coverage involves more than notes about your home’s square footage and appraised value. Please contact us today at (888) 990-0526 to learn more about how we can help protect you and your home.