Without a doubt, there are few things more beautiful and aromatic than a fresh-cut and decorated Christmas Tree. My wife and I have an annual debate about which tree looks and smells best – the Noble fir or the Douglas fir. Invariably, we bring home a big Noble fir (her favorite) and spend hours with the kids stringing lights and hanging dozens of keepsake decorations.
As much as we all enjoy a real tree, there are some important Christmas tree safety considerations that need to be followed. The NFPA provides the following recommendations:
- Pick a tree that is fresh with dark green needles that do not fall off when touched.
- Before placing the tree in the stand, cut off 1-2″ from the base of the truck.
- Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, lights or space heaters.
- Add water daily to the tree stand
- Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory (such as the UL). Also make sure the lights are rated for indoor use on a live tree.
- Replace any string of bulbs with work or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than 3 strands of mini-bulbs and a maximum of 50 of the larger screw-in bulbs.
- NEVER use candles to decorate a tree (does anyone still really do this??)
- Always turn off the lights before going to bed.
- Dispose of the tree quickly after the holidays. Do not store it in a garage or on the side of a house.
Some Christmas Tree fire facts:
- Each year fire departments respond to around 300 fires caused by Christmas trees.
- One-third of the home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems in the lights.
- A heat source too close to the tree causes 20% of the fires.
Christmas tree safety is critical to protecting your family and your home. We hope these tips and help and wish everyone a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season!