Per the National Fire Safety Agency, “Between 2013-2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year.” These fires cause deaths, injuries, and extensive property damage. What causes these most of these fires? Electrical equipment and/or decorative lighting cause most Christmas tree fires. Other times, they are prompted by candles, fireplaces, electric heaters, or wood burning stoves.
So what can you and your family do to prevent a costly Christmas tree fire?
- Be sure to pick a tree with fresh, green needles. The needles on your Christmas tree of choice should not break easily, and your tree should not actively be shedding.
- Place your Christmas tree away from heat sources such as candles, fireplaces, radiators, and lights.
- Water is your friend. Be sure to add water to your live tree every day.
- Be sure to use safe lighting. Make sure your lights do not have cords that are worn or frayed and that they have been tested for safety.
- If choosing an artificial tree, be sure to choose one that is flame resistant/retardant.
- Do not leave your lit tree unattended. Be sure to turn off the lights before leaving home. At the end of the day, be sure to turn your Christmas tree lights off before bed.
- It’s always good to have a fire extinguisher handy in your home. Most home improvement stores sell these.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission‘s video shows just how quickly Christmas cheer can turn to tragedy with an unwatered tree. Keep your family and your home safe this Christmas.
If you want to know that your home and belongings are adequately covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, reach out to one of our agents for a policy review or quote. We have local agents in Metro Atlanta as well as Middle Georgia.