9 Christmas Tree Safety Tips
Placing just the right Christmas tree in your living room helps bring the holiday spirit into your home. Make safety just as important to beauty when considering where to set up your tree and how to decorate it. Here are 9 tips to help you have a safe and festive holiday season.
Pick out a live tree with fresh needles
Buy the greenest tree you can. A freshly cut tree has few brown needles, and its needles bend without breaking. Older, dried-out trees with dulling needles are fire hazards.
Make sure artificial trees are flame-resistant
“Flame-resistant” does not mean “fireproof.” Rather, an artificial tree treated to resist flames will catch fire slowly, giving you a chance to extinguish a tree fire before it spreads.
Make sure the tree fits the space
A tree that is too large for the room in your home where you set it up can be difficult to walk around. An oversized tree can trip people up or get knocked over and cause damage or injuries.
Don’t block any exits
Where you place your Christmas tree is important. A tree that blocks a doorway can create a real safety issue if you need to leave the room in a hurry.
Keep your tree away from fireplace or heater
Putting your live tree near any heat source dries out the needles and trunk, creating a fire hazard. Fireplace sparks pose dangers for any kind of tree. You also want to make sure that your tree has enough space to fall over without landing in the fireplace or on a space heater.
Don’t use flammable ornaments
Do not light candles hung from your tree or place lit candles where their flames can come into contact with tree branches. With other types of ornaments, check that each is nonflammable. Paper ornaments, in particular, catch fire quickly, which can turn a tree into a torch.
Check your Christmas lights
Before you string colorful Christmas lights all around your tree, inspect them carefully for broken sockets and burned-out bulbs. Replace any damaged or malfunctioning light strings. Any short can spark a fire.
Unplug Christmas lights when you leave the room
Make sure you’ve unplugged the lights before you go to bed.
Don’t overload electrical outlets
Plugging too many power cords into an outlet can cause shorts and sparking. Consider using a power strip for strings of Christmas lights.