'Tis the season to be safe.
According to the NFPA, between 2013-2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage annually.
On average, one of every 52 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 135 total reported home fires.
Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 44% of home Christmas tree fires.
In one-quarter (25%) of the Christmas tree fires, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was too close to the tree.
One-fifth (21%) of Christmas tree fires were intentional.
Roughly three-quarters of Christmas tree fires occurred in December or January.
Two of every five (39%) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room.
A few fire safety tips for your holiday decorations:
1)Make sure string lights have no loose connections, cracked lamps or frayed cords.2)Use only a single extension cord that can reach your home's outlet without being too long and being tangled.
3)Use UL-approved lights and cords.
4)Make sure lights are off when you go out and before you turn in for the night.
5)Make sure all outdoor light connectors are away from metal rain gutters and off the ground.
6)Never use candles to light or decorate a tree.
7)To lessen the chance of a fire hazard, purchase a freshly cut tree.
8)Make sure to keep your tree at least three feet away from any heat source.
9)Water the tree every day, and remove it from your home after Christmas or once it becomes dry.
10)Don't burn Christmas tree branches or wrapping paper in your fireplace.
11)Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that could burn.