According to the National Fire Protection Association, 210 Christmas Tree fires occur in the United States each year. This results in $17.5 million in damage and an average of 7 deaths each year due to these fires.
To prevent a holiday disaster from occurring to you, Wausau Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeremy Copp has a few tips to stay fire safe this Christmas:
1. Water your tree
Chief Copp recommends immediately cutting a half-inch from the base of your tree after bringing it home, then placing it in a tree holder filled with water. Keeping the tree watered makes it last longer, and lessens the danger of it catching fire.
2. Move the tree away from heat sources
A Christmas tree might look nice next to a roaring fire, but it also heightens the risk of burning down your home.
3. Don't overload your tree with lights
Too many lights can heat the tree and lead to a fire. An overabundance of lights can also overload circuits, which poses another fire risk.
4. Use LED lights
Not only are LEDs more energy-efficient, but they also burn cooler than incandescent bulbs, lessening fire risk.
5. Keep trees away from exits
If a Christmas tree blocks an exit, it can prevent an easy escape from a structure in the case of an emergency.