Preventing Christmas Tree Fires

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It is important to take special fire-safety precautions when keeping a live tree in the house. The National Fire Prevention Association reports that an average of 230 fires start with Christmas trees every year. While this is a relatively small number for a national statistic, the danger posed by such an accident warrants caution.

Last year, for example, KARK reported on an El Dorado, Arkansas family that lost their home to a Christmas tree fire on New Year’s Eve. The tree caught fire while they slept, ignited by a small space heater. While none of the family was injured, they lost all three of their pets.  

When a live tree ignites, it can quickly fill a room with flames and deadly gases. Tree fires tend to consume the ceiling of a home first, and often with violence, speed, and intensity, as seen in this video:

Below are tips to help prevent Christmas tree fires:

  1. When purchasing a tree, avoid those that are already losing needles, as they can easily reach a point of no return where they cannot be rehydrated
  2. When you set up your tree, cut two inches off its base before placing it into its stand
  3. Keep the tree at least three feet from heat sources such as fireplaces, heat vents, space heaters, lights and candles
  4. Do not overload electrical outlets, and do not connect more than three strings of lights to the same outlet
  5. Avoid leaving holiday lights on unattended, and throw away any lights with frayed cords or other damage
  6. Avoid using lit candles, and never put them on a tree
  7. Water your tree regularly, as a tree with a low water content is MUCH more flammable

If you or a family member is injured due to a defective product or someone’s negligence, contact Duncan Firm for a no cost, no obligation evaluation of your case.

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