‘Tis the season for merriment and for making sure your family home is safe.
Christmas is the perfect time to deck the halls with fresh garland and trees. And, to cozy up by the fire or in a warm heated home. But, along with bringing nature and beauty into a house during the chilliest time of year, some homeowners invite fire risk inside.
While you most certainly should enjoy all of the decorations and traditions that come with Christmastime, just take care to go over some safety precautions. Making a fire safety checklist as fall turns into winter is a good idea so that you’re not caught off guard with an emergency.
You will have the best cheer and joy for Christmas if you consider the little extra steps that are needed to stay safe when you bring new items into your home. Even piled up packages can pose a safety hazard if left near a furnace or heater.
Lights strewn too close to a heating unit can be just the overload of warmth that ignites drapery or furniture. And, of course, Christmas trees and fresh garlands along with real wreaths need to be placed far from HVAC systems or else you risk turning a festive mood into a nightmare.
To protect yourself, your loved ones and your home from accidental fire this Christmas, here are some safety tips to consider:
Pick a Tree with Needles that Stay Put
Many Christmas tree varietals have leaves that stay on the branches rather than wither away and fall off, leaving a pile of potential fire fuel on the floor. Choose trees known to last a while, and opt for a short tree season to avoid dead and dried branches.
Choose Your Tree in Consideration of Your Home
When you pick a Christmas tree, know exactly where you’ll put it. Avoid having to crowd out furnaces and heaters with a tree that is too large for the area. Ideally, there should be a 3 to 4-foot gap between your Christmas tree and heating sources, which include fireplaces and radiators.
Water Your Tree Daily
Christmas trees need to be watered, or at least monitored, daily. Ensure your tree doesn’t become brown and lose a lot of needles. If it does and you still have days to go until Christmas, don’t take the risk. Swap your real tree for an artificial one.
Don’t Use Candles to Light Your Tree
There are plenty of low-heat lights you can string on your Christmas Tree. Even though picture books and old movies make it seem like a tree adorned with candles is a good idea, it absolutely is not.
The National Fire Protection Association says that one-third of all Christmas tree fires are started because of electrical issues. Before the Christmas season, make sure you schedule a check of your HVAC system by a qualified professional.