Christmas Tree Safety
The holiday season can mean many things: spending time with family, decorating the house with lights, and picking out the Christmas tree. However, in the excitement of the holidays, it’s easy to forget safety. And as much as Christmas trees are an enduring symbol of the season, they can also be a hazard.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that an average of 170 home fires are caused by Christmas trees each year. There’s no denying the joy and beauty of a Christmas tree. But that same tree can also be a fire and safety hazard. Both real and artificial trees are susceptible to fire – especially when strung with lights. Falling trees can also be a danger, especially for children and pets. Follow a few simple tips to protect home this holiday season.
Put up your tree
Christmas trees are notoriously tippy. When decorated and covered in lights, they can become even more likely to fall. When they do, they can damage furniture, break windows, and injure people and pets. Make sure to keep the tree out of main walkways in the home and never put it near an exit. Check the tree stand before you put up the tree to make sure it is stable and provides enough support. During the season, check the tree regularly to make sure it isn’t loose and won’t fall.
Maintain your Christmas tree
A live tree that isn’t watered every day will quickly dry out, and a dry tree can erupt in flames at the slightest spark. Start by selecting a tree with fresh needles that don’t fall off when touched, and make sure you water it every day. If you aren’t home, arrange for someone to keep the tree watered.
Check the ends of limbs frequently as they will dry out first, even if you regularly water your tree. Those dry ends can become a fire hazard very quickly. Place lights, especially lights with a higher voltage, a little further down the limb. LED lights, rather than incandescent lights, have a lower risk of starting a fire.
Keep lit candles far from the tree and check lights and electric cords for fraying or weak spots. It may be tempting, but don’t put the tree near a fireplace or any open flame. The smallest spark can cause a fire. Space heaters can also be a hazard, especially if they are left on or near the tree. Over time, they can get hot enough cause both real and artificial trees to catch on fire.
Do you know how your insurance would cover you in case of a tree fire? Our Risk Coaches are licensed insurance professionals who are trained to look at coverage from your perspective. They’re glad to help you navigate the often-perplexing world of insurance coverage. Contact your local Risk Coach™ professional, or call us at 800.342.5342 Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.