Tips for Christmas Light Safety

The open flames on the menorah illuminate the dark living room. Kinaras, red and green, fill homes with the spirits of unity and peace; green pine trees, living and manufactured, display sharp blues, effervescent greens, and joyful reds through their tiny light bulbs. It is the month of peace and good will, and these symbolic lights of love should not end in a tragic and destructive blaze.

According to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 210 homes are set on fire every year.These fires between 2010 and 2014 caused 16 civilian injuries, 6 civilian deaths, and an estimated 16.2 million dollars in property damage.

Although Christmas tree lighting is a fairly uncommon way to accidentally start a fire, these particular fires tend to be more costly and more deadly. The emotional impact of having a Christmas tree set ablaze expensive presents, dolls, toy trains, is a memory not soon forgotten. To avoid that level of both severe property and emotional damage, there are a few inexpensive tricks to making certain your tree stays a symbol of giving and love instead of a costly blazing burden.

First, always make certain that live Christmas trees are fresh. Look for the pine needles to be a fresh green color, and steer clear of trees that have obvious signs of age and rotting like brown needles. Trees that are dried out are much more flammable. To prevent your tree from drying out, water it daily.

christmas lights

Next, choose Christmas tree lights that are flame-retardant. This is always easily located on the manufacturer’s label of the tree. The manufacturer’s label should state if the testing was done by a reputable laboratory like Intertek, The Canadian Standards Association, or the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

After ensuring that your tree lights will not cause you an unnecessary burden, make sure that you put your illuminated tree at least three feet away from the nearest source of heat. Heat sources are not just fireplaces. In addition to fireplaces, your tree should be at least three feet away from lamps, dryers, space heaters, and heating vents.

Christmas lights are a beautiful way to brighten the spirits of even the darkest homes. And they should shine that way all season, free from any life-threatening flames. Stay safe!