Christmas trees, in many ways and for many people, are the archetypal image of the holiday season. They’re an example of everything it’s about—festivity, bright lights and beauty. Unfortunately, the winter months are also some of the most dangerous of the year, when house fires increase and a season of joy can quickly turn to disaster for too many people.
The good news is, you can avoid many of these accidents by simply using a bit of extra vigilance and care in your decorative habits. Be extra careful with your Christmas tree safety, so that you can ensure your holiday season will be fun and memorable.
Holiday Decoration Accidents
Did you know that there are an estimated 210 home fires every year that start with Christmas trees? Many of these fires begin with lights and electrical equipment. Others occur due to the tree being too dry or too close to an open flame or heat source. Still, others occur in January when the tree is leaned against the house while awaiting disposal. Finally, there are those that get out of control when a homeowner decides to burn a used tree themselves.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips: Lights and Electric
Far too many Christmas tree fires can be traced to lights and electrical systems. When you string your tree every year, check all of the bulbs for burnouts, broken bulbs, and potential short-circuits. A single empty socket or broken bulb can be a massive fire hazard.
In addition, any time you use electrical appliances, use a surge protector, and take care not to overload the circuit—never plug a power strip into a power strip! Finally, don’t leave the lights on when you’re not in the room. A lit tree in the window looks lovely, but it can also be a fire hazard if left unattended.
Choosing and Displaying Your Tree
Your Christmas tree safety tips don’t begin with lighting, though. They start with when you first choose your tree. Make sure you pick one with strong needles that don’t fall off at a touch. When you get it home, cut two inches off of the base before putting it on the stand. This will better allow it to absorb water. Always add fresh water to the stand every day to keep the tree healthy and alive.
Trees and Heat Don’t Mix
It’s common sense to keep your tree away from open flames—trees and fire don’t mix. But did you know even heat sources like your home vents can present a danger? Your tree is less likely to catch fire from the heat from your vent, but it has happened. If nothing else, the vents can dry out the tree, making it more likely to catch ablaze from other sources.
Get rid of the tree as soon as you can after Christmas. Never leave the tree in your garage or leaning against your home. Find a recycling program in your community. Don’t try to burn it yourself; these fires can quickly get out of hand, and a single blowing ember can be disastrous to your home.
Holiday Accident Legal Help
If you get hurt in an accident this holiday season, and it’s due to the careless actions of another person, you can collect damages for your injuries with the right legal help. Contact the attorneys at the McMahan Law Firm for a free consultation on your case this holiday season.