Christmas Tree Safety: Making Spirits Bright While Staying Safe This Holiday Season

This holiday season, make sure you've got the scoop on safety before you pick out the perfect Christmas Tree.

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Planning on decking the halls this weekend? Before you bust out the ornaments and garland this holiday season, make sure you're up to speed on safety when it comes to Christmas Trees. According to a report issued by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments across the country respond to an average of 210 household/structure fires caused by Christmas Trees annually. A little bit of planning and thought can go a long way when it comes to preventing a fire - you just need to follow some simple tips and rules to safely enjoy a Christmas Tree this holiday.

Both live and artificial trees have the potential to create a fire hazard, however, taking some safety precautions can help you to ensure that your holiday season is as safe as it is bright.

Picking & Caring For Your Tree

  • If you have an Artificial Tree, check to make sure your tree is labeled as Fire Retardant by the manufacturer.
  • If you'll be picking out a Live Tree this year, make sure that it is fresh, and has green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Before placing your Live Tree in the stand, cut 1 - 2 inches off of the base of the trunk.
  • Place your Christmas Tree Stand at least 3 feet away from any heat sources, including radiators, heat vents, lights, fireplaces, and candles.
  • If you have a Live Tree, be sure to add water to the tree stand daily to keep the tree hydrated.
  • Make sure your Christmas Tree is not blocking any entrances or exits in your home.

Decorating The Tree

  • Never use lit candles to decorate your Christmas tree.
  • Always turn off your Christmas Tree Lights before going to bed, or leaving the home.
  • If your Christmas Tree Light Strands are old, worn, or broken, replace them.
  • Connect no more than three strands of Christmas Lights with regular bulbs, and for LED Lights, check the manufacturer's packaging to find the appropriate number of lights to string together.

After the Holiday

  • Once your Live Christmas Tree begins dropping needles, it is time to get rid of it. Dried out Christmas Trees pose a serious fire hazard, and should not be left indoors, placed against the home, or in your garage. Check with your Town to see when Christmas Trees will be picked up this holiday season.
  • After the holidays have passed, make sure to take down all outdoor Christmas Lights - this will help make them last longer, and prevent potential hazards.

Now that you've got the safety tips you need, you're ready to get going with decorating for the holidays. To find out where you can pick your own Christmas Trees, click here!

Have any great pics of your Christmas Tree?
Send them to us & we'll add them to our Holiday 2014 Photo Gallery!

[Source: NFPA.]

Photo by John Nyberg, via Free Images. Video via NFPA's Official YouTube Page.