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Christmas Tree Fire Safety

ServiceMaster Cornerstone

Christmas is right around the corner. Memphis is a beautiful place during the holidays. Shelby Farms is famous for their drive thought light show featuring Starry Nights. Who does not love the beautiful lights and smells of Christmas cookies baking in the oven? Unfortunately, holiday decorating at home using a real Christmas tree can result in tragedy. A cut Christmas tree can catch fire and rip through a home destroying it as a total loss and even tragically take the lives of family members. A frequent problem is a family purchases a tree that is dry, or the tree dries out quickly once it is inside the home. Any spark with a wire from lights on the tree or a tree that is close to an open flame can cause an intense blaze engulfing the home quickly. These tragic Christmas tree-related fires are rare, but the National Fire Protection Association warns these fires are likely to be more deadly than others. 

Doug Hundley, a spokesperson for the National Christmas Tree Association, says that trees only catch fire when they are set aflame by a blaze that already exists in the home. However, 0.12 percent of fires involve an artificial or natural tree. Here are a few Christmas tree fire safety tips. 

How to Prevent Holiday Fires 

Keep your tree watered. According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), a dried-out tree can burn faster than a newspaper. When you put your tree in the stand, make sure it has plenty of space for water. The Christmas tree can drink a gallon of water daily. Do your best to make sure the stump never goes dry. 

Keep the tree away from heat. Your Christmas tree should be positioned at least 3 feet away from a fireplace, heaters, heating vents, or radiators. Never set a lit candle near the tree. 

Keep an eye on the Christmas lights. Make sure you do not have any broken bulbs or frayed wires. Invest in high-quality lights and note if they are for indoor or outdoor use. Give the lights a break at times as well. They do not need to stay lit all day, every day. Always unplug your tree when you leave your home. 

Pick a Christmas Tree that looks fresh. Make sure the needles are not brown at the tips. Check the needles, a fresh tree will snap if you fold them. Fresh pine needles will bend but not break when folded in half. If you notice brownish needles, your tree is dry, causing it to be more flammable. 

At ServiceMaster by Cornerstone, we are considered the best in the business to clean and restore items after fires and other disasters. However, we would like to help you avoid them. This Christmas, we hope you all have a safe holiday and a very Merry Christmas.