The most wonderful time of the year is almost here. The kids are on their school break, and parents can’t wait until they go back, the guests are making their way to their family dinners and the partridge is queuing up for his moment in the pear tree. Christmas movies have been playing in regular rotation. I usually save my favourite movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation until the big day, when the whole family can sit down and have a good laugh.
While the movie is a rip-roaring comedy, there are some scenes that if they happened in real life, wouldn’t be a laughing matter. The scene with Uncle Lewis lighting a cigar next to a dried out Christmas tree is one of my favorites. Many people prefer a real one. however they forget to add water regularly which can cause the tree to dry out and become a fire hazard.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, during the four year period 2003-2007, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 250 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year, causing an average of 14 deaths, 26 injuries, and $13.8 million in direct property damage annually. Christmas tree fires aren’t a regular occurrence but based on these statistics, they can have serious ramifications.
Here are some tips so that you can have a safe Christmas without winding up as another statistic.
-If you leave your tree for a few days before you trim it inside your house, the tree will naturally open up. This ensures that the branches don’t open up inside next to candles.
-Keeping your tree hydrated and moist over the holidays will greatly reduce the chances of a fire. Spraying it daily with water and keeping the base full of water will prevent dryness and make it more resistant against fire and flames.
-Don’t overload your Christmas tree with too many lights. Using a power strip to connect multiple sets of lights will reduce the risk of overloading electrical circuits.
-It’s important to keep it away from open flames such as candles and especially fireplaces and stoves.
Finally, keep pets and children away from your tree. Remember what happened to the cat in Christmas Vacation who was chewing on the wires. Children have been known to take unnecessary chances.
It’s important that you and your family enjoy your live Christmas tree on Christmas morning with presents all it. These basic Christmas tree tips can go a long way.