When does your family put up the Christmas tree? Some families decorate the tree before Thanksgiving, and others wait until a few days before Christmas to do it. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety wants to remind you to take good care of your Christmas tree. There is the potential that a Christmas tree could catch fire.
Many families have made a tradition of picking out a Christmas tree, and decorating it together. The tree is a big part of the season. What else would you put all those presents under? People have a tendency to think of their tree as a “set it and forget it” type of project. Sure, you look at the tree every day, but you might not be making an effort to take good care of it.
Every year, there are stories in the news about fires that started when someone’s Christmas tree ignited. The hope is that the family got out of the home and was unharmed. Even a small fire in a home is going to cause damage. It’s never a happy experience to have to file a homeowners insurance claim due to a fire. It’s a tragedy to have to deal with claims and repairs around Christmas.
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety has advice on how to take care of your Christmas tree. They share a few startling statistics. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Christmas trees account for 250 fires every year, resulting in 14 deaths, 26 injuries and over $13.8 million in property damage.
Here are some tips from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety about Christmas trees:
Choose a fresh tree.
If you want to have a live tree, make sure it is fresh. Find a tree that has sticky resin coming out the bottom of the trunk. Tap the tree on the ground. You want a tree that doesn’t lose too many needles when tapped. Fresh trees have a lower risk of going up in flames than dried trees do.
Plastic trees can ignite.
The label might say “fire resistant”. This doesn’t mean it cannot catch fire. It just means that an artificial tree won’t burn as quickly as a real tree would.
Maintenance is important.
Make sure you continue to provide plenty of water for your tree. This can help prevent it from drying out too quickly. If your tree has become really dried out, you might consider replacing it with a fresher, and safer, tree.
Image by Rebecca W on Flickr