Christmas Fire Safety Tips
If your household includes a natural tree in its festivities, make sure you keep the tree watered.
Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires annually. Typically, shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. Well-watered trees are not a problem. A dry and neglected tree can be.
Dry Tree vs. High Moisture Tree Fire - The following Kings Fire video shows how flammable a dry Christmas tree can be as opposed to a tree watered regularly.
Selecting a Tree for Christmas
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long and, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
Caring for Your Tree
Do not place your tree close to a heat source, 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. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
Maintain Your Christmas Lights
Inspect Christmas lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting approved by the British Standards.
Do not overload or link extension leads as this is a major cause of electrical fires.
Use Only Non Flammable Decorations - All decorations should be non flammable or flame-retardant and placed away from sources of heat.
Never Leave a Burning Candle Unattended - Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
If You Do Use Lit Candles - Make sure candles are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn. Avoid using candles in bedrooms and sleeping areas.
Never Put Lit Candles on a Tree - Do not go near a Christmas tree with an open flame - candles, lighters or matches.