Each year, as the holiday season approaches, the search for the perfect Christmas tree kicks in to high gear. Some families will go with the convenience of an artificial one, while others will choose the traditional route with a fresh cut tree. To ensure the enjoyment of your Christmas tree this season, please practice the following safety tips, many from the Canada Safety Council, to prevent an unfortunate Christmas tree fire this year.
When selecting a real tree, fresh is best! Needles should be hard to remove and not break when bent between your fingers. If the tree has already been cut, tap it on the ground. If needles fall off, the tree is too dry and flammable…move on.
If going with an artificial tree, ensure it is fire resistant. It doesn’t mean it won’t catch fire, but will resist burning, extinguish quickly, and greatly reduce the risk of a christmas tree fire. In Canada, it should also have a CSA (Canadian Standards Association) label on it.
Inspect light strings and extension cords before installation. If any show signs of wear or damage, discard them immediately.
Water fresh trees DAILY! Keep the base of the trunk in water at all times.
Keep your tree away from ignition sources, including a fireplace, heaters, radiators, or candles.
Never leave lights on overnight or when away from the home.
Be realistic. A fresh tree should not be set up in your house too early. Ask the Christmas tree farm or place of purchase how long they expect your tree to last. Proper care will extend the amount of time you have with your tree. When needles begin to fall off in large quantities, it’s time to get it out of the house and avoid risk of a christmas tree fire.
It’s shocking how quickly a real tree can go up in flames. Have a look at the following video from the Fire Kills Campaign. It took only a minute in this demonstration for fire to fully engulf a room.
A “real” tree can add a nostalgic feel to your celebrations. From the selection and cutting in the bush, to decorating it with years’ worth of family ornaments, memories are made this time of year. Be safe this season, provide proper care for your tree, and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.