After a long 2020, it has been challenging for many families dealing with the COVID-19. Lives have been changed forever, while schedules have been adjusted constantly with work and school being rerouted to the home front.
With so much activity taking place at home, we should think safety first when setting up and caring for our Christmas tree.
An American Senior Alliance advocate, Louise Hill said, “I love getting into the Christmas spirit early and putting my tree up the day after Thanksgiving. There is something magical about turning the lights on first thing in the morning, although to prevent any fire in the middle of the night, we make sure we turn them off before going to bed.”
Just in the last 3 years, there were close to 100 million Christmas trees purchased for the holidays. With more people being confined to the home in 2020, the retail experts project a record number of Christmas trees will be sold this year making the odds greater for a potential fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 45 percent of the Christmas tree fires were electrical or lighting equipment malfunctions. Many of those were attributed to electrical lights, wiring, lamps, bulbs, electrical cords and plugs. Twenty-two percent of the fires were directly related to a candle or equipment heat source being too close to the tree.
If a Christmas tree catches fire, it can go completely up in flames in seconds and become deadly. To protect your family from potential risks, these tips by Travelers could help you avoid hazards and potentially save a life:
- Fresh cut- Always look to buy a freshly cut tree and trim about 1 inch from the bottom to allow the water to soak into the tree.
- Choose the tree location wisely- Find a spot in your home that is away from heat sources, vents and fireplaces that will dry out your tree.
- Water your tree daily- With indoor heat, Christmas trees can dry up quickly so take time to monitor the tree daily for needles falling and keep it watered.
- Don't use multiple extension cords- Use quality lights and avoid using multiple extension cords.
- Toss damaged lights- If reusing lights from the previous year, inspect them closely. If a strand is damaged or worn, throw them away and buy a new one. It is wise to spend a few dollars just to be on the safe side.
- Unplug at night- Always remember to unplug your tree lights at night. Many of the fires occur in the middle of the night.
- Close bedroom doors at night- In case of fire, a closed-door can prevent the flames and smoke out giving you more time to escape.
- Check smoke alarms- It is very wise to always have a smoke alarm and make sure they in the right locations.
By going the extra mile to monitor your Christmas tree, it helps you have a joyful, peaceful and safe holiday season!