Real Christmas Trees: How to Prevent Fires
Have a safe holiday season with these fire-prevention tips for real Christmas trees.
Fresh pine trees just add something to the season. But they can be fire hazards, so it’s important to take some precautions.
If live Christmas trees are your go-to, help keep your home fire-safe with these simple tips:
Choose the Right Tree
- Measure your Christmas tree stand so you know how large a tree it can handle.
- Freshness is key. A dry tree is more susceptible to catch fire. The best way to get the freshest tree is to cut it yourself. If that’s not an option, purchase one from a tree lot that sources trees.
- Bounce the tree to test freshness. If a lot of needles fall, it’s likely too dry.
- You also can crush a few needles in your hand — fresher trees have a strong pine scent.
Keep Your Tree Safe at Home
- Trim a half inch off the tree’s trunk for the best water absorption, and water it as soon as possible.
- Water your tree meticulously, especially during the first two days, when it can take almost a gallon of water daily.
- Keep your tree at least 3 feet away from any heat sources, which cause one in four Christmas tree-related fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Remember Decorating Safety
- Never use candles on or near your Christmas tree.
- Inspect your lights before hanging them, and don’t connect more than three strings together.
- Turn Christmas tree lights off before you leave the house or go to sleep.
Know When to Say Goodbye
The drier the tree, the greater the fire hazard. Dispose of your tree no later than a month after Christmas. You’ll also spare yourself mounds of needles if you dispose of your tree shortly after the holiday.