LINCOLN, R.I. – Over the next few weeks, many people will purchase a live Christmas tree in preparation for Santa Claus. What they may not know is that the tree can also be a fire hazard. The combination of dryness, electrical malfunction and poorly located heating sources can make for a deadly combination.
Although Christmas tree fires are uncommon, they’re more likely to be serious. Each year, fires occurring during the holiday season injure 2,600 people and cause more than $930 million in damage, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. That’s why Amica Insurance is sharing the following tips from the National Fire Protection Association:
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
- Before placing the tree in the stand, cut two inches from the base of the trunk. Add water to the tree stand and continue watering it daily.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Replace any strings of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- After Christmas, check with your local community to find a recycling program for Christmas trees. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.