One of the best parts of living in Colorado or Wyoming this time of year, is that we do not have a shortage of Christmas trees. However, Christmas trees can cause house fires in some cases. This goes for both artificial and real trees, although the latter may be more dangerous because they can dry out. Research has shown regular watering can prevent Christmas tree fires.
Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute recently teamed up with a local fire department to demonstrate the dangers of dry Christmas trees. Firefighters involved in the demonstration used a blowtorch to ignite the lower branches, and then recorded the resulting fire. Within seconds, the tree ignited, and then seconds later, an entire room burst into flames.
Christmas tree fires are more common than you might realize. According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 210 house fires were caused by Christmas trees each year between 2009 and 2013. These fires caused 7 deaths and 19 injuries annually. One-third of these fires occurred due to electrical problems.
Can You Prevent Christmas Tree Fires?
The National Fire Protection Association has listed multiple steps you can take to prevent Christmas tree fires.
- Water your tree daily to keep it from drying out.
- When Christmas tree shopping, look for one that has only green needles. Brown needles mean the tree has started to die. Dry pine needles are a fire hazard.
- Keep Christmas tree lights off while sleeping or while not at home.
- Once needles have started dropping from the tree, it is time to throw it away. Dropping needles means the tree is drying out and dying.
- Only use flame-retardant Christmas decorations.
- Make sure your Christmas lights do not have damaged wires.
- Do not put Christmas trees next to a heat source, such as a space heater, candles or a fireplace.
You should also never place Christmas trees near a potential exit. Always check to make sure your fire alarms are working. The best way to prevent Christmas tree fires is to take preventative measures.
The personal injury attorneys at Metier Law Firm, LLC wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season.