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As the song goes, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”! There are holiday decorations, Christmas trees and holiday cheer all around. As you are putting up your decorations both indoors and outdoors or choosing your live Christmas tree, there are certain holiday fire safety tips that you should follow to make sure that your home is safe from fire hazards. According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2007 and 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 230 home fires per year that started with Christmas trees resulting in over $18.3 million in direct property damage. One of every three Christmas tree fires is started by electrical issues, such as lighting. Keep your family and home safe this holiday season by following these simple steps for candles, holiday lights and Christmas trees:
Christmas Fire Safety Tips
- Fire safety experts recommend not using flame candles for holiday decorations. Use battery-operated candles in their place.
- If using flame candles, place them away from combustible items such as decorations, greenery, and wrapping paper.
- Put candle displays in places where they can’t be knocked over. Do not place them on a table in a high traffic area.
- Never keep an open flame unattended. Always keep a burning candle within your sight.
Indoor and Outdoor Lights
- Use lights that have been tested for safety from an independent testing laboratory.
- Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires or loose connections. Throw away the damaged lights or repair them before use.
- Fasten outdoor lights firmly to the trees or the house.
- Periodically check the light wires. The wires should not be warm to the touch when in use.
- Use no more than 3 standard sets of lights per one extension cord.
- Before decorating, determine how many outlets are available in the room and where they are located. Then, plan your decoration placement according to the outlets.
- Use LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.
Artificial and Real Christmas Trees
- Many artificial trees are fire resistant. Check the label on the tree to make sure that the trees have this designation.
- A fresh tree will stay green longer and will be less of a fire hazard than a dry one. Fresh trees are green, the needles are hard to pull off and the trunk is sticky with resin.
- Cut off 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption. Place the live tree in a sturdy stand with wide-spread feet. Keep the stand filled with water the entire time that the tree is indoors.
- Do NOT place Christmas trees in high traffic areas of the home, near fireplaces, radiators, or any other heat sources.
- For a live tree, make sure to add water daily to the tree stand, so the tree does not dry out.
- When a tree starts to drop needles, it means that it is drying out and that it is time to get rid of it.
- Never use candles to light up a Christmas tree.
ezStorage wants to help keep your family safe this holiday season. After the holidays, when you are ready to store holiday decorations, remember to properly store them in self storage. Self storage is also a great solution for artificial Christmas tree storage, which can help keep your home clutter free for the New Year! ezStorage has 49 locations in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. areas to help with your storage needs.