Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fire Protection: Christmas Tree Safety

We all know it's Christmas time and you're excited about having your tree set up and decorated. We can't fault you for that because that time of the year brings out the kid in us but that doesn't mean we should forget about fire protection. With Christmas trees both artificial and real you must be careful in how you decorate and set them up. By properly adorning your tree you will make the Yule tide season a much safer one. Now we don't want to discourage you from having the brightest, nicest tree on the block but we want you to be careful in doing so. Fair enough?

Carefully decorating Christmas trees can help make your holidays safer. It's imperative to realize that the fires associated with Christmas trees spread really fast. Therefore you have to be very careful. Here are some facts related to Christmas tree fires to let you know how dangerous an occurrence this can be.

Some important facts related to Christmas Tree related fires:
It's been noted that 59% of fires happen in December, and 24% occurred the following month in January. From the time frame of 2003-2006, fire departments came to the aid of 240 home fires that were Christmas Tree related. Amongst the fires deaths at averaged at 16 people, injuries were at a number of 25 and property damage neared $13.1 million. Thankfully these fires are not an epidemic however when one happens they can cause grand damage. Out of every fifteen tree related fires that happen a death has occurred.

Some tips to ensure fire protection with Christmas Trees

Artificial trees must be marked, established and certified by its maker as fire retardant. If you're selecting a real tree make sure its needles are fresh and that they don't fall off when touched. Trees before they are placed in their stands must have 1-2" cut from the trunk's base. Your tree should be a minimum of three feet away from any sort of heat making source. This includes vents, candles, fire places, radiators and lights. Avoid having a tree getting in the way of an exit.

Tree lighting guidance

Lights that have a certification to prove they've been tested are the ones you should use. You'll find both indoor and outdoor lights but you'll never find types that are used for both. If any of your lights are damaged or broken you should replace them. You'll want to make sure your connections do not exceed more than three strands in its light sets. Screw in bulbs should not go over 50 bulbs. When lighting a tree never use candles as your light source either, that could be pretty dangerous! When tree is not in use make sure you turn the lights off.

When it's time to take your tree down here's what you should know. When needles start to drop get rid of the tree. Trees that are dried out will pose a great threat for a potential in fires. Therefore your attempt to institute fire protection will be in danger if you don't properly dispose of the tree. Also make sure to bring back your outdoor light fixtures if you have any and store them away once the season is over. In closing enjoy the Christmas season dear reader but never forget the importance of fire protection, you'll be grateful for it in the long run.

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