Your Christmas tree might look pretty, but watch out — it’s capable of killing you.
Okay, that might be a bit dramatic. But it’s true: Christmas trees can cause destructive and even deadly house fires during the holiday season. Take extra precaution by following our Christmas tree safety tips.
How Christmas Trees Cause House Fires
There are several factors that can contribute to a Christmas tree fire, including a dry tree, electrical lights, and gifts under the tree (which add fuel to the fire). The most common cause is electrical problems, which lead to at least a third of all Christmas tree fires.
While Christmas tree fires aren’t overly common, they’re one of the most dangerous types of house fire. One out of every 31 Christmas tree fires results in death, compared with one out of every 144 total home fires. Christmas tree fires also contribute to about $18.3 million in property damage every year.
Not surprisingly, December is the peak season for Christmas tree fires, though January falls close behind. That means that if you haven’t already, it’s probably time to do something about that dried-out tree of yours!
Christmas Tree Fire Safety Tips
It’s obviously too late this year, but before you decorate your Christmas tree, you should check all your lights for shorts or other electrical issues. It’s a tedious job, we know, but it could save you from a nasty holiday house fire.
Still got your Christmas tree decked out and on display? Be sure to unplug the lights any time you leave the house or go to bed. Remember, electrical failures are the number-one cause of Christmas tree fires!
If your tree is still fairly new and healthy, keep it watered regularly so it doesn’t get dry. However, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advises that even well-watered trees should be discarded after four weeks of use.
So please, take down your Christmas tree, folks. It’s the start of a new year, which means a fresh start for the whole house. Let’s start it off with a bang — not with a fire!
What to Do if You Have a Holiday House Fire
If you happen to experience a holiday house fire — and we sure hope you don’t — call us at INTEK. Our fire damage restoration in Sioux Falls and Yankton will take care of the cleanup for you by restoring your damaged contents to their original condition.