Every year millions of people decorate their homes in preparation for the festive season and for many the presence of a real Christmas tree is an essential part of that decoration and a focal point for the whole of the festive season, but here is some news you may not be consciously thinking of. Christmas trees, share many qualities with other trees, principally that they are made of wood and wood burns!
There are steps you can take to minimise the risk of the Christmas tree setting on fire and somewhat dampening the mood at Christmas.
Tips for Christmas tree fire safety
- Make sure the Christmas tree you are buying is freshly cut. The high demand for trees at Christmas can sometimes lead to trees being harvested some time before they are presented for sale. The sure sign that the tree is not fresh is it easily losing it’s needles. Grasp the tree by the trunk and knock the base against the ground, if needles fall away then choose another tree.
- Set up your Christmas tree at least 3-5 feet away from any heat source, obviously an open fire or flame can lead to ignition, but placing a tree near a radiator will dry it out more quickly. Drying out a tree is effectively creating tinder in your home.
- Do not decorate your tree with “real” candles or any other form of decoration that uses a naked flame.
- Never leave your Christmas tree lights on when the tree is unattended or the home unoccupied.
- Keep your tree watered by making sure that the base of the tree has a constant supply of water.
- Make sure your tree base is secure and cannot be dislodged by children, pets or people full of the Christmas spirit.
- The recommended maximum time for keeping a tree is 2-3 weeks. After this period the tree will be dried out and present a significantly higher risk of fire in the home.
- Always dispose of your tree responsibly when finished with, do not leave it in your porch or garage, either dispose of it yourself or take advantage of the free collection service available in many areas.