Christmas Tree Safety
Protect yourself and your home this holiday season with fire safety tips. Photo: Getty Images

Christmas trees signify love, life (unless it’s Home Depot artifical) and happiness — and we’ve learned a lot of things about them this year.

 

For starters, there's a scarce supply in some parts of the country. They could be filled with bugs on bugs (up to 25,000), and there are, as it turns out, ways to decorate them like never before (think vertical lights).

 

With the holiday season in full swing — and your trees hopefully decked out to the fullest — it’s important to keep safety in mind.

 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently came out with a public service announcement warning people about the dangers of parched Christmas trees. If under-watered, they will burn faster than newspaper and be engulfed in flames in seconds, while watered spruce won’t catch flame nearly as quickly. The video shows these watered trees slowly releasing smoke instead of getting set ablaze. 

 

“Safety should be part of all your decorating efforts,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle in an online statement. “Make sure your live Christmas tree has plenty of water, keep lit candles away from flammable items, and use caution when standing on a ladder or a chair to hang decorations.”

The CPSC site also provide further tips to prevent trees from catching fire. A few of the most important include:

- Buy a tree that is fresh, if living

- Pick a "Fire Resistant" artificial tree

- Avoid breakable decorations

- Place trees away from heat sources

- Extinguish all candles before leaving a room

- Have working smoke alarms on every floor

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of 200 home Christmas tree fires between 2011 and 2015. Each year, these fires caused an average of six deaths, 16 injuries and $14.8 million in direct property damage.

They too have safety tips as seen below:

Christmas Fire Safety

Remember: even if your tree is fake and goes unwatered, that doesn't mean you're off the hook. Spread the news. Send this to your friends, your old college drinking buddy, your grandma from Wisconsin. Tweet it out to strangers on the world wide web. In the spirit of the holidays, you’ll be doing them a favor.