Christmas Trees: Charming Symbols of Cheer? or Kindling for a Hellish Holiday?
The Christmas tree the center of the holiday season in the United States, consumers and non-consumers alike can agree on the pleasant aroma a natural Christmas tree adds to the home.
But for the estimated 250 Americans who will experience a Christmas-tree-
Throughout the Winter- Americans will lose over $1.5 billion in property damages caused by residential building fires, and for the more than 900 people that will die in residential fires, this will be the last Christmas. Don’t let your family be victimized by a holiday accident, call one of our agents now to discuss just how affordable fire protection from SkyBlue Insurance can be. Call us now at 1-800-771-7758
Despite its dangers, the holiday season is still a great time to hang decorations with grandma, but before granny tacks your stocking up, make sure it’s out of the fireplace, and follow these basic tips!
1. Selecting the Tree There is something to be said for majesty, but for our purposes a good tree is one that doesn’t drop too many needles when bounced on its stump. The website of the Fire Administration of the United States says that this ensures the tree is fresh. The stump should be sticky, and the needles should be difficult to bend or snap off of the branches.
Although the tree should be the focal point of the room, many older homes have living rooms designed around the fireplace (in fact the word “focus” is derived from ancient Greek, and means hearth or fireplace).
The tree cannot be located near an open-flame, let alone near the fireplace. Find a comfortable location that showcases your trees least-Charlie-
A well hydrated tree is not the culprit of holiday fires, as a hydrated tree can even put out fires that start in its lower branches. A dry tree however can be entirely consumed by flames in about 30 seconds, as visible in the demonstration video above.
Never use lit-candles as a tree decoration.
Beyond that, malfunctioning electric light strands are the most common way that tree fires start. If you plan to use lights, maintain them and make sure there are no exposed wires or missing bulbs to allow sappy needles to cause a short. Also look for cracked plugs, kinked or worn cables, and gaps in the insulation of the wire.
If you plan on using garlands or any thin and papery decorations, fire retardant or fire proof are the best ways to go, but if you must use dry kindling as decorations, ensure that it is away from all open flames and heat sources.
Other Holiday Dangers:
Cooking is the leading cause of all winter residential fires. Be careful while preparing food as many people in one kitchen means more ways to get burned, especially with small children constantly underfoot.
Unattended pots are the main way that kitchen-fires start. If you are preparing a long-cooking dish, plan kitchen-activities to ensure that you are always within eye-shot of your stove.
Candles are another concern during the holidays. They can add scents and soft lighting to the ambience of a family gathering, but falling asleep or even leaving a candle unattended for a few moments can be extremely dangerous.
Candles should have a buffer zone of at least 12 inches on all sides to prevent fire, and they should rest on a sturdy base to prevent them from tipping over.
The best policy for both candles and cooking is to never leave the room.
For more information on homeowners or fire insurance, go to www.SkyBlueInsurance.com or contact one of our Sky-Agents at 1-800-771-7758