Christmas is one of the most fun-filled times of the year. With all the tumult involved in meeting and partying with the family and friends, we usually forget that the tree we decorate in the spirit of Christmas could trigger a house fire. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 15000 people visit emergency rooms every year because of house fires during Christmas. If you want to play it safe this Christmas, follow this fire preventive guide to keep a tab on fire hazards this holiday season.
Pick a fire-resistant tree
You should choose your Christmas tree very carefully. If you are picking a natural tree, make sure it is as fresh as possible. Consider giving the tree a fresh cut at the base and place it immediately in water. Dry tree catches fire easily, so sprinkle a lot of water on it every day to keep it fresh and wet until Christmas so that it does not catch fire. However, if you are picking an artificial tree, make sure it is fire-resistant.
Use lights that have been tested
Choosing lights that have been tested by laboratories is important. The lights you are picking to decorate your Christmas tree, indoors as well as outdoors, should meet the requirements of laboratories. It will reduce the chances of fires due to a short circuit by 60 percent.
Check lighting equipment
You should check each set of light, plugs, sockets, and cords to ensure that they are not broken or cracked. Also, make sure there are no loose connections, as they cause sparking and hence short circuits. Throw out damaged sets and do not use electric lights on a metallic tree, instead use battery-powered LED lights.
Burn candles within sight
Light up candles very carefully on a flat surface. Make sure you are not placing lighted candles out of your sight or in a room or corner where nobody is around. Burn them within sight, and do not place them near your Christmas tree. Remember to extinguish all candles before you go to bed, or leave the room or house.
Do not set your tree near the fireplace
Never ever set your Christmas tree near the fireplace or a heating source, as heat can dry out your Christmas tree and cause a fire. In most cases, Christmas tree fire is caused by the careless placement of a Christmas tree near flammable sources.
Do not decorate tree with metal and flammable ornaments
Avoid decorating your Christmas tree using metal ornaments. Metal ornaments can cause electrical fires due to short circuits or burning wires and put you in a dangerous situation. Also, never decorate your Christmas tree with flammable or combustible materials.
Plan for fire safety
Consider installing fire extinguishers in your house before Christmas time. Also, have a wireless smoke detector in every room. Have an emergency safety plan if a fire breaks out so that people can get out safely.