There’s nothing like the spectacle of a Christmas tree, but within that symbol of holiday cheer, certain trees can present the very real risk of fire to homeowners who aren’t careful to take the proper safety precautions. In fact, millions of dollars in property damage every year can be attributed back to Christmas tree fires. Good thing SOS Technologies has the tips to prevent your new tree from becoming your home’s biggest fire hazard.
Dryness + heat source = big-time danger
When a dry tree combines with a nearby heat source such as candles, fireplaces, radiators and lights, it can transform that tree into a fire starter. So make sure that these heat sources are placed as far away from the tree as possible – several feet away is ideal.
Next, let’s address the dryness factor: Try to select a fresh tree that’s been recently cut, which is more likely to retain moisture from frequent watering. You can identify a fresh tree with this simple test: Run your hand across one of the tree’s branches. If a large number of needles immediately fall off the tree, you may not be looking at the freshest tree in the bunch. If few needles fall to the ground, you likely have a nice, fresh tree that won’t dry out.
To maintain moisture for your tree, fill the tree base with water and use up to 1 gallon of water every other day on a standard, 6-foot tree. Keep an eye on your water level regularly to ensure it doesn’t get too low.
Lighting can play a big role in starting a Christmas tree fire, so how can you adorn your tree with the safest lights possible? For one, read the label on your lights and look for the letters “UL” or ETL/ITSNA,” which means the lights have been lab tested under the most stringent safety standards. As you’re examining your lights, look for signs of worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections as those should likely be replaced.
Another important note on lights – homeowners fall in love with the image of a fully lit Christmas tree that they can wake up to, but the reality is that those lights should be turned off each night in the name of safety. If you’re going to bed or leaving home for several hours, turn the lights off.
Disposing of the tree safely
It’s unfortunate, but a fair amount of people tend to wait too long to dispose of their tree. That’s when real danger can literally flare up because the tree becomes dried out, creating a hazard. So even if your tree is a fresh tree that’s been frequently watered, dispose of it soon after Christmas. Don’t leave it in the garage or lean it against the home outside. Identify a recycling program in your community where the tree can be safely disposed.
Nobody thinks of using safety equipment and first aid supplies in the event of any kind of fire or accident, but a home that’s fully prepared for safety concerns is best at all times of year. So in addition to ensuring your smoke alarms have fresh batteries and a fire extinguisher is kept handy, talk to SOS Technologies about replenishing your first aid supplies. We have a full range of supplies not only for the home but for those trips to see family to celebrate with our vehicle first aid safety kit. Call SOS today at 888.705.6100 to stock up for safety on this and every season to come.
From all of us at SOS Technologies, Happy Holidays! Be safe.