It’s that time of year again when families hunt for the perfect green Christmas tree to decorate their homes with. But those who are cutting down their own trees or going to a tree lot searching for a real tree, could be bringing home a fire safety hazard.
As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, I remind people this time of year that a real tree can be a safety hazard if you don’t pay attention to caring for the tree and protecting it from heat sources. Here are some recommendations for consumers to ensure their tree is safe this holiday season:
- Check for Freshness: Select a tree that is fresh and less likely to dry out while it is displayed in your home. Check by grasping a branch and pulling it toward you to see if many green needles fall off. If they don’t, it’s a good sign the tree is fresh.
- Trim the Tree: I don’t mean decorate; trim a half inch off the bottom of the tree trunk to help the tree soak up water and keep it fresh.
- Avoid Heat Sources: Keep your real and artificial trees away from heat registers, space heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves and other heat sources.
- Wire Right: Only string your tree with approved lights and ensure the light’s electrical wiring is in good condition. Turn them off when you’re not home or before bed.
For more tips on how to ensure a fire safe Christmas tree, visit: the United States Fire Administration website at ww.usfa.dhs.gov/safety/tips/treefir.shtm.