Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Tree Holiday Light Safety Tips to Avoid Fire and Protect Your Home and Family


Today the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released their 2013 Home Christmas Tree and Holiday Light Fires Report listing statistics on common fire hazards during the winter holiday season.

Beverly Hilton Hotel Christmas Tree,
According to the NFPA in 2007 to 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 230 home structure fires that were ignited by Christmas trees. Although these types of fires are relatively rare, when they happen, they are often quite serious. In fact, on average, one of every 40 reported home structure Christmas tree fires resulted in a death compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home structure fires. 

One-third of Christmas tree structure fires involved electrical failures or malfunctions. Nearly 20 percent of these structure fires occurred because some type of heat source was too close to the tree.

Christmas Tree on Universal Walk,

NFPA Christmas Tree & Holiday Light Safety Tips

  • If you own an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant 
  • When choosing a real tree, select one with fresh, green needles that do not fall off branches when touched
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1" - 2" from the base of the trunk 
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights
  • Never place a tree where it might be blocking an exit
  • Add water to the tree stand when you set it up and be sure to add water daily 
  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory and keep in mind some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use 
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections 
  • Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs and always read LED strand manufacturer’s instructions to avoid a power overload that could lead to fire
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is an international nonprofit organization focuse on fire, electrical, building, and life safety. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the second and third leading days for cooking fires, respectively, and most cooking fire occur when cooking is left unattended. More advice is available including  Grilling Safety Tips and Holiday Cooking Fire Safety. To keep up to date on the latest news and information follow NFPA on Twitter and Facebook.

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