The team at Elite Restoration loves getting to do the kind of work we do. However, we want to do everything we can to make sure you don’t need our services. As much as we would love to spend time with you over the holiday season… we DON’T want it to be because of a house fire!
Christmas trees are a holiday tradition that the whole family can enjoy. Decorating them together is a fantastic family activity! Along with bringing holiday cheer, Christmas trees can also bring the risk of a house fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 2015-2019, fire departments around the USA responded to an average of 160 Christmas-tree-caused house fires per year. The odds of having a Christmas tree fire can be reduced by taking just a few simple steps.
Unplug lights when nobody is around.
If you string lights on your Christmas tree, it might be tempting to keep it lit 24/7. Who doesn’t love holiday cheer round the clock?? However, when you go to bed or when you leave the house, leaving your tree plugged in can be dangerous. Nearly 20% of Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical lights. It isn’t just natural Christmas trees that are in danger from electrical fires, either! Artificial trees can catch fire as a result of faulty electrical lighting.
String lights can use a surprising amount of power. Consider placing your lights on a timer, or manually unplugging them every night before bed, and before you leave the house. Christmas lights can get HOT. If you’ve ever touched a bare bulb that’s been on for hours, then you know this. Even the highly popular LED lights can overheat if they’re left on 24/7. Prevent heat fires or electrical fires by simply giving your lights a break now and then!
Inspect and replace your artificial Christmas trees.
In 2020, more than 100,000 artificial Christmas trees were recalled due to potential fire hazards. One of the biggest benefits of artificial Christmas trees is that they last much longer than a fresh cut tree. However, even artificial trees have an expiration date. The flame retardant coating used on artificial trees can deteriorate over time. Without this intact coating, artificial trees can burn as vigorously as a dry live tree. The repeated unboxing, setting up, and re-packaging process can damage the wiring over time, too. Frayed or exposed wires pose a major fire hazard, so inspect your tree annually before you plug it in!
The average usable life span for an artificial Christmas tree is six years. If yours is older than this, it might be time to consider a new tree. You can check the lifespan of your tree on the original packaging. If you no longer have the packaging, you can look up the model number online. Adhere to the safety precautions provided by the manufacturer to the risk of a fire. When you do buy a new artificial tree, make sure that it uses a flame retardant compound.
Keep your tree watered.
Trees aren’t fire resistant! This means that they can pose a serious fire hazard , especially when they’re allowed to dry out. One of the most common causes for real tree fires is the tree being dried-out. GoodHousekeeping has this handy guide on how to keep your Christmas tree fresher for longer. Some key points include:
- Use a humidifier if your house is dry
- Keep your tree away from fireplaces, heating vents, or other heat sources
- Check water levels every. single. day.
- For every 1-inch in trunk diameter, give your tree 1 quart of water per day (at minumum)
Remember, your natural tree does have an expiration date. Without roots, it will eventually dry out and wither. Dispose of your tree BEFORE this happens. The longer you allow it to sit, the drier and more risky it becomes.
Use the proper electrical setup.
Extension cords are not meant for extended long-term usage. Overusing extension cords can cause them to overheat, which in turn increases your risk of a fire. Overloading outlets or extension cords will also increase your risk of a fire. Rather than using an extension cord, or worse, linking multiple extension cords together, consider moving your tree. It may be a hassle to reorganize your living space a bit to make it all work. However, the slight inconvenience of moving furniture is preferable to paying for fire damage restoration services.
The team at Elite Restoration cares for you and your family, and we want to make sure that everyone stays this holiday season! If you need us over the holidays, we’ll be here providing our 24/7 emergency services. Contact us online anytime, or give us a call using the phone number listed in the footer below
Merry Christmas & happy holidays!