It’s that time of year. It’s Christmas time. Time to put up decorations, trim the tree, have friends over and just celebrate the joy of the season. But while your celebrating make sure to be safe. This is also the time of year where if you’re not careful, that beautiful tree could cause disaster. So below are a few tips to be aware of and practice while decorating that tree and keeping your home fire free.
- Keep trees securely upright in a stand to ensure that it will not accidentally tip over or be knocked over by children, pets, or over-enthusiastic dancing adults.
- Keep your tree away from any and all heat sources. This includes electrical outlets, radiators, space heaters, and fireplaces.
- Make sure natural trees are well watered.
- If you have purchased an artificial tree, please make sure it is labeled “fire retardant”.
- Unplug the tree lights before leaving your home or before going to bed.
- Avoid using real candles on a tree, especially if it is not artificial. Real Christmas trees contain a lot of natural oils that are very flammable, especially if the tree is dry.
- Use a maximum of three strands of tree lights on a single extension cord.
- Dispose of your tree at an appropriate recycling center promptly after the holiday season. Your community may also offer pick-up services from your home—this is also a good option
- Unplug any lighting, indoor and out, before going to bed.
- Never leave any candles unattended. It only takes a moment to light and blowout a candle. It also only takes a moment for a spark from a candle to turn into a big fire.
- Avoid using live candles (candles with a flame) on windowsills and mantles.
- Do not let pets or children chew on strands of lights meant for the tree or home décor.
- Make sure the cords used for lights and other decorations are not frayed. If they are, it is time to get rid of them. It is easier to buy a new strand of lights than to try to restore your home after a fire.
- Do not run electrical wires under rugs.
- Make sure all candles are in sturdy holders that will not tip over and are placed away from furniture and other home accessories.
- Trim candle wicks to a ¼-inch in height