There’s no denying the magic of a live Christmas tree…BUT…There is nothing magical about home fire started by one! Before you take a trip to the tree lot or up to the mountains with the fam, consider these rules of thumb.
- Choose a recently cut tree – they hold moisture better and won’t be as much of a fire risk.
- Test your tree! – run your hand down a branch of the tree. Few to no needles should fall off, and if they do, you need to keep shopping.
- Prepare your tree – turns out you still will need a saw, even if you didn’t drive up to the mountains and cut down the tree yourself. Cut off about a 1/2 inch from the trunk and put it in a bucket of water before bringing the tree into your house.
- Decorate your tree – use indoor lights, multiple circuits around the house to avoid overloading an outlet, and keep the tree away from candles/fireplaces/heat conductors.
Last but not least, water your tree!! Find yourself a nice tree stand that has something to hold enough water for the height of your tree. An average 6 ft. tree requires 1 gallon of water every other day! That means you need to be prepared to regularly water your tree and check the levels. A fun idea would be to include the kids in the process – teach them about fire safety and ask them to help remind you about watering!
Still not confident in keeping your home safe? Ask the tree lot attendant! We also found a unique company that has Christmas tree safety devices that would provide greater peace of mind for anyone with a live tree. There is an ornament shaped like an angel that can detect heat and trigger an alarm, should a tree fire start or be close. They also have a low-water detector that can be attached to your tree base to set off an alert and light if you need to refill the water bucket. These devices would be great Christmas gifts for the neighbors! To purchase, visit christmastreesafetysystem.com.