Christmas Season Fire Hazards
Water That Tree!
What's a holiday party or even the traditional Christmas morning scene itself without a beautifully decorated tree? If your household, as those of more than 33 million other American homes, includes a natural tree in its festivities, take to heart the sales person's suggestionâ€”"Keep the tree watered." That's good advice and not just to create a fragrant indoor winter wonderland atmosphere. Christmas trees account for 200 fires annually, resulting in 6 deaths, 25 injuries and more than $6 million in property damage. Typically shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. Well-watered trees are not a problem. Dry and neglected trees can be.Each year fires occurring during the holiday season injure 2,600 individuals and cause over $930 million in damage. According to the United Sates Fire Administration (USFA), there are simple life-saving steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday. By following these precautionary tips, individuals can greatly reduce their chances of becoming a holiday fire casualty:
Preventing Holiday Tree Fires - Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases.
*Selecting a Tree for the Holiday - Needles should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch.
oOld trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
*Caring for Your Tree - Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times. Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree.
*Disposing of Your Tree - Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or woodburning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.
*Never Put Lit Candles on a Tree - Do not go near a holiday tree with an open flame -- candles, lighters or matches.
*Maintain Your Holiday Lights - Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.
*Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets - Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires -- they should not be warm to the touch.
The information on this site was produced by the USDA, the USNFSA and other agencies and was compiled by the site owners. Site design and layout copyright 2007 giantific.com