This month, nearly every home and many businesses will have some sort of Christmas tree on display. With all the joys of the holiday season, it may be easy to forget that there are dangers associated with having an electronically lit tree inside the premises. Nationwide, fire departments will respond to roughly 230 home structure fires that were caused solely by Christmas trees. These fires are estimated to cause nearly $18 million in property damages annually.
How can you prevent these hazards.
- Be sure to check any tree you’re purchasing for freshness. The needles should be green in color and not easily broken with your fingers. As the tree deadens, more and more needles will fall to the ground. Water the tree frequently to prevent drying.
- Do not place the tree near a heat source. Keep fireplaces, vents, or radiators clear from the branches and any presents or decorations below.
- Check all tree light strands for any damage. They should not be broken, cracked, or have any exposed sockets or loose wiring.
- Verify any extension cords used are rated for their intended use. Be sure the cords are in good condition and there are no signs of fraying or cuts.
- Do not place candles or other open flame source near the tree and its decorations.
- If you are purchasing an artificial tree, be sure to find a tree with a ‘fire resistant’ label.
Use your general knowledge and common sense to maintain a safe holiday display. When in doubt of a tree or light’s condition don’t take any changes. Properly dispose of any items that you feel could present a hazard to your home or business.
The staff at Professional Underwrites wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season!
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