Facts and Figures
A fire on any day seems bad, but a fire on Christmas seems to be the worst. Some 300 Christmas trees caught fire in one recent year, with electrical problems the most common culprit.
- When you buy your tree, have the vendor make a fresh cut an inch from the bottom; this will help the tree drink.
- If you buy your tree early and keep it outside, store it away from wind and sun, and keep the bottom in a bucket of water.
- Make sure your lights are safe. If you need outdoor lights, make sure the ones you buy are meant for outdoor use. Make sure your lights carry certification from a testing laboratory.
- Don’t use electric lights on a metal tree.
- Discard any strings of lights that are frayed or broken. Christmas lights are cheap.
- Unplug your Christmas tree before you leave or go to bed.
- Don’t buy a tree that is dry and dropping needles. To check for freshness, loosely grip the end of a branch and pull your hand over it. Only a few needles should fall off.
- Make sure your tree stand holds plenty of water, and don’t let it run out.
- If your tree seems wobbly, center it in the stand more securely and redo the bolts or screws. Or, if your tree stand is cheap, buy a larger, stronger one.
- If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it is fire-retardant.
- Keep your tree at least three feet from furnaces, radiators and fireplaces.
- Try to position it near an outlet so that cords are not running long distances. Do not place the tree where it may block exits.
- When Christmas is over or when the tree starts to drop needles, dispose of it. Don’t leave it in your house or put it in your garage.
- Keep a close eye on small children when they are around the tree; many small decorations and ornaments are sharp, breakable and can be swallowed .