For some people, having a real Christmas tree in their home at Christmastime is a part of what makes the Christmas holiday festive.
There’s something about the smell of pine when a person walks in the door after a long day at work or school that has a joyous and calming effect at the same time.
Hanging ornaments on it invites a nostalgic walk down memory lane, especially if any of the ornaments are homemade.
A lit Christmas tree in a dark room on a cold winter’s night with a fire in the fireplace might even inspire a sense of romance between a couple.
Still, for all the beauty and enjoyment a real tree can add to the Christmas season, it’s also important to make sure that precautionary measures are implemented so that the holiday season is safe for everyone.
The most important thing to keep in mind is making sure that it always has plenty of water. A Christmas tree that gets dried out is a fire hazard.
It’s shocking how fast a home can go up in flames.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology created a video of a simulated house fire in connection to a dry Christmas tree. The video illustrates that it can take a little as 10 seconds for a fire to burn out of control.
Between 2016 – 2020 Christmas trees were the cause of 160 house fires to which fire departments had to respond. There was $12 million in direct property damage, but even sadder is that two people died and 11 were injured, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
A few tips that the organization offers for keeping your Christmas tree hydrated, your family safe, and the holiday a happy one are:
- A fresh tree should have two inches cut from the trunk’s base before putting it in a stand.
- Make sure there is water in the stand, and check daily to make sure the tree always has water.
- Christmas trees need to be at least three feet away from all heat sources such as fireplaces, heaters, candles or lights.
- Christmas trees should not block an exit.
- Make sure lights don’t have any exposed wiring, broken casing or faulty bulbs.
- Keep in mind that electrical issues with Christmas lights cause 34 percent of house fires.
- Heat sources that are too close to Christmas trees cause 20 percent of house fires.
While it’s not typical for a Christmas tree to be the cause of a house fire, when it does happen, it’s often a serious fire.