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Christmas Tree Fires – Statistics and Avoidance

griswoldsMIAMI BEACH – This post is about your safety around the holidays. Nobody wants there Christmas tree to burn. You don’t need insurance claims or, even worse, injuries. But it happens. And, it is an easy way to ruin Christmas. But we found some suggestions to prevent this from happening. And some statistics to motivate you to be a safe Christmas tree handler! The National Fire Protection Association reports that:

Between 2006-2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 230 home fires that started because of Christmas trees each year.  The fires caused an average of 4 deaths each year and  21 injuries.  The total yearly economic loss associated with Christmas tree fires is reportedly $17.3 million in direct property damage.

While Christmas tree fires on not common, they can be very serious according to the National Fire Protection Association. In fact, one out of every 66 reported fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in death. According to the National Fire Protection Association, one in about five or 18% of fires started due to a heat source too close to the Christmas tree. Another nineteen percent of home Christmas tree structure fires were intentionally set. And about three quarters or 75% of the intentionally set Christmas tree fires occurred in the 15 days after Christmas which makes it likely the fires were due to disposal.

Now, the question is, how do you make a Christmas tree safe and not likely to burn and injure you or you family and home? The answer is simple: watering a Christas tree makes it significantly less likely to burn at the same rate as a tree that was not watered. The logic is simple: dry branches and needles will start on fire much easier. Some ways from keeping your tree from getting too dry are not to put your live tree up too early and don’t leave it up for longer than a total of two weeks.  And, remember to keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

Another way of not causing a Christmas tree fire is to avoid placing it close to a heat source like a fireplace or heat vent.  The tree will become easier to ignite because the heat dries it out.  And the nearby flame and sparks will including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. And, if you smoke, don’t flick your ashes or smoke near a Christmas tree.

Finally, never put parts of your tree in the fireplace or stove when you are done with it. Once the tree dries up, get rid of it.  Take it to a green waste center or have it hauled away by your trash pickup service.

Have a great Holiday season and stay safe!