Christmas Tree Fires, Dangers and How to Prevent
House fires commonly occur during the months of December, January, and February because this is when people are most often using wood stoves, fireplaces, and electric heaters. Another leading cause of fire during the winter months is the holiday Christmas tree. The National Fire Protection Association states that between 2013 to 2017, 160 Christmas tree fires occurred in the United States. Several deaths, 15 documented injuries and a total of 10 million dollars in property damage were also reported.
The Dangers of Christmas Tree Fires
Many people put their Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving and leave it up until New Year’s Day. Over the course of a month, no matter how much water you pour into the tree’s basin, a live tree will eventually start to dry out. A dry Christmas tree takes less than a minute to become completely engulfed in flames which can then quickly spread throughout the home. In January of 2015, a Maryland home fire occurred as a result of a dry 15 foot Xmas tree that caught fire from faulty wiring laying beneath the tree’s base. Sadly, all six family members were killed in the Christmas tree fire.
How to Prevent Christmas Tree Fires
Below, you’ll find a few tips on how to prevent Christmas tree fires:
- Avoid putting up a live tree too early
- Always keep water in the basin of the tree
- Use only UL-approved holiday lights and cords
- Check for any loose connections, broken bulbs, or frayed cords on Christmas light strands
- Use only a single extension cord that easily reaches your home’s outlet.
- Never use candles to decorate a holiday tree (a tradition that once caused many Christmas tree fires and deaths)
- Unplug the Christmas tree lights when you are not home or at night
- Keep all candles at least 12 inches away from a Christmas tree to prevent combustion
It is essential to take all necessary steps to prevent Christmas tree fires to keep your family safe. Following the above tips are just a few ways to prevent a heartbreaking holiday fire calamity.
Engineering Specialists Inc. has nearly 30 years of field experience in analyzing damage to vehicles, residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. We can work on any project in any state, nationwide. When you or your business needs to confirm the extent of damage or how to correct a problem, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us, toll-free, at (877) 559-4010.