Christmas Tree Safety
Christmas trees can fill your home with the sweet smell of pine and light up any room, but there are precautions you need to take when decorating and selecting your tree. Make sure your Christmas tree is placed well away from fireplaces and radiators.
There are special concerns you need to be aware of if you have a fresh or artificial tree.
When you are selecting your tree, make sure you shake the tree vigorously and watch if there is excessive loss of needles. If the tree loses a lot of needles, it means that it is already drying out. A dry tree significantly increases the risk of the tree catching fire in your home. Fresh trees should be green and the needles should be difficult to pull from the branches. Another test is to take a single needle and bend it between your fingers. The needle should not break, it should bend.
After choosing a tree, secure it in a sturdy stand and provide it with adequate water. There are many products on the market today that are designed to help you keep track of when your tree needs water. Keeping the tree watered will keep it supple so it retains its needles, making for less cleanup after the holidays and a lesser fire danger.
If you purchase an artificial tree, the most important thing you need to look for is the "Fire Resistant" label. This means the tree has been treated with a chemical that makes it resist burning. That does not mean the tree can't or won't catch on fire. If your tree is metallic, you should not use electric lights on it.