Follow these safety tips to make sure your holiday fun doesn’t go up in smoke
Christmas trees are one of the most beloved types of holiday decorations, but if you’re not careful, they could be putting your family home at serious risk for a fire. By taking a few sensible precautions, you can greatly decrease the risks a tree poses when it comes to fires—and thus enjoy the natural beauty of your Christmas tree in peace.
Consider getting an artificial tree (as long as it’s fire resistant)
If you’re especially worried about the risk of fire, getting an artificial tree could be a good substitution for the traditional variety. If you’re considering purchasing an artificial tree, it’s absolutely essential that you get a fire resistant model; otherwise, it could be even riskier than a regular tree. Therefore, avoid using older artificial models like the one that’s been living in your attic for some time and do some online research before you make a new, safe purchase.
The one thing your artificial tree will be missing is that lovely Christmas tree scent, but you can quickly change this around by purchasing some scented holiday spray. In fact, you can even purchase an Evergreen scented candle—just keep it far away from your tree or any other flammable items.
If you buy a real tree, make sure it’s fresh
At most vendors, trees come in all shapes, sizes, and degrees of quality—and, especially if you wait to shop for your tree, most sellers are willing to offer a discount on those with browning edges or slightly withered leaves.
What might seem like a late December deal to you could be a potential fire disaster for home and your family. Older trees are typically much drier, and therefore, catch fire much more easily than their younger relatives. Always opt for the safer (and more quality) option: a lively, green, and well-hydrated tree.
Get rid of a Christmas tree when the needles start dropping
Falling needles are one of the most significant signs of a Christmas tree that’s been kept past its prime. While a few needles will drop, even in a new tree, a lot of brownish needles on the ground indicate that it’s time to put your tree out to pasture. This goes for the tree selection process as well; when examining a tree for sale, always shake it a bit—if too many needles fall, it’s probably not the most ideal pick.
Make sure you use a fire resistant skirt
One of the biggest causes of tree fires often isn’t the tree itself; it’s the cloth skirt that’s wrapped around the base of the tree. Considering that these skirts are often made of cotton or other flammable materials, a burned out Christmas tree light or dropped candle can easily set a skirt aflame—and with it, the rest of your tree. That’s why it’s extremely important to buy and use a fire resistant skirt.
Better yet, ditch the skirt completely to avoid any risk of it catching fire.
Make sure that your smoke alarm works
In the unfortunate event that your tree does catch fire, it’s essential to make sure that you and your family are prepared for the worst case scenario. Before even purchasing and decorating your tree, make a point to thoroughly test your smoke alarm to make sure it’s functioning properly. If the alarm seems defective in any way, get it replaced or repaired and retested before filling your home with trees, wreaths, holiday candles, or other potential fire-starters.
Move the tree if it’s blocking an exit
While this may seem obvious, it could save you and your family’s life in the case of a serious emergency. If possible, keep your tree at least 10-12 feet away from any major doors, passageways, or other exits in your home. If the tree were ever to fall over and catch fire, it won’t block a potential emergency escape route.
With the holidays near, it’s important to remember these crucial safety tips! For more information on how to keep your family safe this holiday season (and throughout the rest of the year), contact Avante Insurance! We are the leading insurance provider for homeowners, business, automobiles, and more!