The holidays can be a wonderful time of year full of joy, cheer, family, and friends. Unfortunately, they can also be a tragic time of year if we aren't careful. With Christmas trees, electrical lights and decorations, and candles aplenty during the holidays it makes the perfect recipe for a fire. Here are a few things to keep an eye on while you celebrate, so you can enjoy your holiday fun safely.
The most typical holiday fire is the Christmas tree fire. There are hundreds of Christmas tree fires every year – this doesn't mean they're common but they happen often enough. And when they occur, they're more likely to be more damaging than other types of fires. Typically, 1 out of 32 reported Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to 1 out of 143 reported home fires. That's a HUGE difference.
What's causing Christmas trees to go up in flames? Well, 1 out of 4 is caused by electrical problems (aka lights on the tree type of situation). 1 out of 4 is caused by a heat source too close to the tree (aka too close to a candle or heater). There's also the matter of hydration. Something to remember if you have a live tree in your home – turpentine is made of pine needles. You know what happens if a flame gets near turpentine, right? Now imagine the same with your Christmas tree. A tree that's been properly watered has a better chance of catching fire more slowly, but a dry tree? It can go up in flames entirely in 30 seconds.
How can you stay safe? For starters, keep your tree watered! If the needles are falling off, then it's starting to dry out. And dispose of it (properly) as soon as the holiday is over. 1/3 of home fires that began with Christmas trees occured in January. Properly check any and all lights & electrics you place on or near the tree. Throw out anything with frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. Extension cords should be in good condition and UL-rated for indoor or outdoor use. When hanging lights outside, avoid using nails or staples, which can damage the wiring and increase the risk of a fire. Finally, make sure your tree is placed well away from anything involving candles, a fireplace, a heater...anything involving flames or heat essentially.
The holidays should be a time to relax and enjoy your family & friends, not a time to be worrying about fire safety. Taking careful precautions with your holiday tree means you'll be able to do just that. From everyone here at Dryer Vent, we wish you a very happy holiday season! Here's to safety & joy!
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