Christmas Tree Safety Tips

The holiday season is in full swing. A season that some say is the best time of the year is also a time where unfortunate accidents can occur. To ensure that our family, friends, customers, and residents of our county and neighboring counties have a safe and spectacular holiday season, we have researched for the very best Christmas tree safety guidelines and tips and compiled a list for your use, right here on our blog.

For those that have Christmas trees in their home, whether artificial or real, should be sure that the tree is never placed next to the fireplace or any type of portable heater. You should also make sure that it isn’t blocking any exits or in traffic areas. If you plan to purchase an artificial tree, look for a labeled or certified ‘fire resistant’ or ‘fire retardant’ tree – keeping in mind that ‘fire resistant’ is not equivalent to ‘fire proof’. Fire resistant just means it is difficult to burn. But a fire resistant tree will make your tree less of a fire hazard, should a fire occur. If you are buying a real tree, you should make sure that it is a healthy tree. If it is dry or dried out, it can be a major fire hazard. Some people don’t really see how a dry tree could pose such a danger, but NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) has posted a video that may change your mind. It really shows how much more quickly a dry tree will burn and devastate your home compared to a well-watered, healthy tree. When trying to determine if a tree is healthy or dry, look at the needles. If they are green, do not fall off easily, or break when bent, than you have a healthy tree. And also make sure that you put water into the stand to keep it well-watered. A tree can dry out quickly, especially if the home is heated in some way.

If you are still not convinced at the danger, look at these figures from the NFPA:

Between 2005-2009, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 240 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of 13 deaths, 27 injuries, and $16.7 million in direct property damage annually.
• Christmas tree fires are not common, but when they occur, they are likely to be serious. On average, one of every 18 reported fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in death.
• A heat source too close to the Christmas tree started one of every five (20%) of these fires.

We hope that these Christmas tree safety tips will be helpful to you and your family. The holidays can be a joyous time, if done safely. And remember, if you have any questions about auto, home or business insurance – give Sleek & Williamson a call at (770) 489-2403.



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