Household fires are always tragic regardless of when and how they start, yet, they are somehow even more disheartening when they happen on or around Christmas. So, how to avoid burning Christmas tree incidents, whether it’s placed near a fireplace or not? Below, we’ll go over the several main safety tips you should follow if you want to make sure that you’ll have a safe and happy Christmas this year.
Pick a Christmas tree that’s still fresh or even better – a living tree
Almost every fire incident that’s happened with a Christmas tree has always been with an old and dry tree. To make sure that the tree is fresh you should inspect it carefully for brownish needles – even a single brown needle will mean that the tree is starting to dry up which is crucial because you don’t just want a tree that’s fresh when you buy it – you want it to stay fresh throughout the whole holiday season.
Another sign to look for is how soft the needles are – they should be easy to bend and not fall off when you do so. After you’ve gotten your tree, remember to inspect its needles at home almost daily as well.
Alternatively, you can get a living Christmas tree and root it in a large plastic basin in your living room. After the holiday season is over, you can simply transplant the tree in a nearby park or a forest. Or, you can plant it in your yard too!
Water your tree regularly
Living or not, watering your Christmas tree regularly is essential to keep it fresh. Whether you have a Christmas tree near the fireplace or away from it, it’s always vital to make sure that it’s as fresh as possible.
Shake the tree regularly
If too many needles fall off the tree when you give it a gentle shake this means that it’s way too dry to be safely used indoors. Either water it again to freshen it up a bit or move it outside.
Keep the tree away from all heat sources, not just the fireplace
Obviously, having a Christmas tree next to fireplaces or wood stoves is not a bright idea. However, other heat sources can be equally risky – candles and electrical sockets are as big of a risk as a fireplace. Curtains and drapes are also tricky – one of the most common types of accidents is for a drape to catch fire from a candle and to transfer the fire to the Christmas tree which, in turn, amplifies the fire and makes it infinitely worse.
Be careful with the tree lights
Another major cause for house fires in addition to the Christmas tree fireplace connection are the Christmas lights we decorate the trees with. Always inspect the lights carefully before placing them on the tree, and give them an additional look every time you’re about to turn them on.
Having a Christmas tree and fireplace next to each other is an intuitively bad idea but as you can see – there are quite a few other things to keep an eye on as well. Be careful and be safe during this year’s holiday season – there are ~200 house fires related to Christmas trees in the U.S. every year and you probably don’t want to add to that statistic.