The upcoming holiday season is going to be a little different due to the pandemic, but if you’re still planning to get a real Christmas tree, we have some important fire prevention tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
- Look for a fresh-looking tree
Pick a fresh-looking tree with really green needles. If the needles are a bit brownish, they will be more flammable. This is similar to a very dry area of land that doesn’t get any rain – if a fire starts, it can get out of control very quickly.
Another sign of a fresh tree are flexible and softer needles. It is actually a good idea to test the needles of your tree for freshness for as long as it is in your home by bending them. If they snap easily, the tree is too dry.
- Keep your tree well-hydrated
It is a scary, but true fact that dried out trees can burn faster than newspaper. You have to water it a lot so that it stays consistently moist. Your tree stand should also have a good-sized water reservoir. Trees get very thirsty, surprisingly drinking up to a gallon of water every day.
If you shake the tree and a lot of needles fall off, it definitely needs more water.
- Buy high quality “indoor” lights
It is worth spending more to buy high quality lights so that you don’t have to worry about loose connections, frayed wires, faulty bulbs, or bulbs that easily break. Make sure the box is marked for indoor use.
Always unplug the lights before changing bulbs, replacing fuses, or making any other repairs.
Also, always unplug the lights when you leave the house or go to sleep. Even if you go downstairs and your tree is upstairs – turn the lights off as soon as it is out of your sight.
- Keep your tree away from heat sources
Trees need to be kept at least 3 feet away from things like space heaters, radiators, vents, and of course, fireplaces and candles.
- Buy a high-quality extension cord
It’s much better to be safe than sorry when dealing with power. Don’t skimp on extension cords by buying cheap ones that can become problematic.
Ensure that whatever you are plugging into the extension cord does not exceed the wattage rating, meaning the amount of electricity that the cord is able to carry.
- Dispose of your tree after the holidays
It isn’t as exciting to take down the tree as when you put it up. That said, rather than have it lingering around, dispose of it sooner than later. The longer you leave it up, the drier it will become.
There are just as many (if not more) fires from Christmas trees in January from people leaving them up for too long.
It is important to remember that fires don’t just happen to “other” people. Have tons of fun this holiday season, but keep safety your number one priority!
All the best to you and your family from all of us at ATC Landscape in Coquitlam.