- On January 16, 2017
It’s almost Christmas, and if people haven’t picked up a Christmas tree yet, they’re certainly getting ready to. While we at EHS Restoration enjoy decorating a tree as much as anybody, we’d like to pass along a few safety tips.
Every year, there are more than 200 calls to local fire departments in the Phoenix area because of a blaze started by a Christmas tree, and EHS Restoration would like to cut that number down this year.
OH, CHRISTMAS TREE…
The first place you should be looking to cut down on fire hazards is the tree itself. Before you buy a tree, check the needles by gently bending them between your fingers. Check the trunk to see if the pitch is coming out of it. And if possible, tap the end of the trunk on the ground. If large numbers of needles fall off, the tree is too dry and you should get a different one.
Once you have the tree, make sure it’s thoroughly watered each day. Get the tree out of the house as soon as Christmas has passed, before it gets dried out.
The next thing to check is the electrical components. While Christmas trees may be the fuel that gets a fire going, an electrical spark is what starts it. Check your light strings to make sure there aren’t any frayed wires or cracked shielding, and that the plugs are still intact.
If you’re using an extension cord, keep it limited to just one cord to cut down on potential overloads, and make sure the extension cord is in good shape as well. To ensure high quality, make sure your light strings and your extension cords are both approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
While it’s not as big a problem here in Arizona, fireplaces can contribute to a Christmas tree fire. If you have a fireplace you use during the holidays, make sure the tree is at least three feet away from it, and perhaps give it a little extra water owing to the heat.
By the same token, make sure there’s no space heater sitting close by and aimed in the direction of the tree. Additionally, don’t try to use candles as lighting for the Christmas tree, and keep candles well away from the tree and any other flammable materials.
We at EHS Restoration hope that you and your family have a happy and safe holiday and a wonderful New Year.