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Christmas Trees and Safety

Everybody loves a beautifully lit and decorated Christmas tree, to really embrace the holiday season. While the alluring smell of pine is undeniably a welcome one for most people this time of year, you may want to consider an artificial Christmas tree for safety purposes. Decorating with an artificial Christmas tree is a lot safer than using a real tree; electrical failures or malfunctions are typically involved in almost half of the fires that occur this time of year, catching the tree with sparks or small electrical fires. Not only that, placing Christmas trees too close to a heater or fireplace also leads to a substantial amount of fires as well. However, putting trees too close to open fires or heaters caused a significant number of fires as well.

If you decide you prefer a real tree beautifying your living room throughout the holiday season, we don’t blame you. At Will Marshall Insurance, we just want to give you a few quick tips to ensure you’re choosing the right tree and caring for it properly to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Keep Your Tree Moist

Most of the fires we hear about in relation to Christmas trees occur because of dead, dry trees. Ideally, you should spray your tree with room temperature water at least once daily, but ensure you only do so once lights are off and unplugged. Spraying your tree on a daily basis will decrease the dryness, stop excessive amounts of needles from falling off, and make the tree much more resistant against potential fire.

Choose One Full of Life

Maintaining your tree should begin with selecting the right one before leaving the lot; always opt for one that isn’t dry to start. We recommend choosing one that is still growing; when possible cut it yourself or have the employee cut it for you. If you are purchasing a pre-cut tree, check that it is well and healthy. You can test this by pulling on the needles.  If they are removed easily, it’s likely not a very healthy tree. The limbs of the tree should be fairly flexible, and the trunk should be sticky.  Consider lifting the tree and bounce the cut ends on the ground. If a bunch of needles come falling off, this tree isn’t a good one to take home with you.

Keep it Fresh

Once you get your Christmas tree home, be sure you cut off the bottom two inches of the trunk. This fresh cut will allow an easy means for the tree to soak in water. Failing to do this might make it challenging for the tree to drink the water, which can lead to a shorter lifespan for your Christmas tree.

Keep it Hydrated

The best method to keeping your Christmas tree fire-proof is by keeping it totally hydrated. Be sure that the water in the stand is welll above the fresh-cut bottom of the trunk at all times. Forget about putting anything in it aside from water – your tree won’t care about flavor, caffeine or sugar. Like us, water is the best liquid for Christmas trees.

Stay Cool

Christmas trees will quickly dry out if exposed to too much heat, so always keep your tree away from common heat sources such as fireplace, heater, and vents. The cooler the Christmas tree remains the better.

Avoid Burning

Refrain from disposing of your tree through burning. A burning Christmas tree can be hard to control and could burn a lot quicker than expected. Remember that burning Christmas tree clippings in a fireplace could lead to chimney fire; pine and fir trees create a ton of creosote while on fire, and could produce deposits on the chimney during the process.

Don’t Keep it Longer than Necessary

If you typically enjoy your Christmas tree until the New Year, double check that it’s not drying out, as this creates perfect conditions for a fire hazard. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, a dry tree can burn faster than newspaper. It is highly suggested that you recycle your tree once it shows signs of needle dropping. The longer your Christmas tree stays in your home, the more it dries and becomes a prominent fire hazard.

The team at Will Marshall Insurance wishes you a safe and happy holiday! Enjoy the time with your family and friends, and remember these safety tips!

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