With last week being Thanksgiving, you probably have already picked out and set up your Christmas tree. Christmas trees cause 160 fires on average per year. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage annually. Thankfully, these incidents are highly preventable. Here are some tips on how to prevent Christmas tree fires.
Water Your Tree Daily
Christmas trees consume as much as 1 gallon (3.79 liters) of water a day! Make sure you have a Christmas tree stand that can hold at least a gallon of water. Dry trees are far easier to catch fire than properly watered trees. Below is a video of the difference between a dry tree and a watered tree and how quickly they can catch fire.
Note that it is still possible for a watered tree to catch fire, it’s just far easier to put the fire out if the fire spreads more slowly.
Keep Your Tree Away from Heat Sources
Another way to prevent Christmas tree fires is to keep them away from anything like fireplaces, heaters, candles, lights, etc. In one-quarter (25%) of the Christmas tree fires, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was too close to the tree. It’s a good idea to try and have 2-3 feet in between your tree and anything else in general.
Choose the Right Lights for Your Tree
Although it may seem tempting to reuse your lights from last year even though one of the wires is frayed, it is not a good idea. Opt to purchase LED lights and lights that are specifically for Christmas trees and tested as such. You should never connect more than three strands of lights to one plug as this poses a fire hazard.
Throw Away Your Tree When It Gets Dry
You should throw away your Christmas tree when it gets too dry to keep in your home or directly after Christmas. You can tell when a tree is dry by touching the needles and if a bunch of them fall off then your tree is dry and should be thrown away as soon as possible.
Look into local Christmas tree recycling programs to come and pick up your tree when it is ready to be thrown away. These are some local Christmas tree recycling programs in Rhode Island.
What To Do If Your Christmas Tree Catches On Fire?
If your Christmas tree, unfortunately, does catch on fire, quickly grab a fire extinguisher and try and put out the tree. It is a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher close to your Christmas tree just in case this happens. This will allow you to control how much damage the fire creates by putting out the fire as quickly as possible.
Once your fire is put out, call us at Rhode Island Restoration and we will be able to come out there and assess the damages that the fire has caused. Even small fires can cause a massive amount of smoke and soot damage throughout your home, so it is important to call a professional fire damage restoration company to begin the fire damage restoration process as soon as possible.