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Tips and information on all types of property damage claims.


Christmas Tree Fires and Preparedness

Rick Tapanes - Friday, December 19, 2014

The holiday season is here! This is the time when families get together to cherish the holiday spirit and what better way than decorating the family Christmas tree. Here, in the U.S., it is tradition, and putting up a Christmas tree every December helps to keep the holiday spirit alive.

Did you know there are over 230 fires associated with Christmas trees every year? A Christmas tree can bring much happiness and joy to your home, but it can also be a potential fire risk. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas tree fires are a major cause of personal injury and property damage every holiday season.

Here are some Facts

  • For the past 3 years, U.S. fire departments put out an average of 230 home fires per year that started with Christmas trees. These fires cause an average of 6 deaths, 22 injuries, and well over $20 million annually in property damage.
  • Electrical problems were factors in one-third (32%) of home Christmas tree structure fires.

Four Rules to Christmas Fire Prevention 

  • Always choose a manufacturer certified tree that is fire retardant
  • Make sure you trees needles DO NOT easily fall off

Placing the tree

  • For safety, keep your tree opposite from exits
  • Secure your tree furthest from any heat source such as fireplace, heat vents/lights, radiators, candles, space heaters.

Lighting the tree

  • Indoor tree requires indoor lighting.
  • Worn or torn light cables must be replaced for new ones.
  • Candles should not be places on or near your tree
  • Unplug your Christmas tree lights before leaving your home.

Post Christmas

  • Throw out your Christmas tree when it begins dropping needles. Trees tend to drop plenty of dried needles which are a fire danger. Christmas trees should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
  • Check with your local community to find out how to recycle. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Space Heater and Christmas Tree

It is really not the best combination out there!

About one-third of all winter house fires are caused by space heaters. They are also involved in 80 percent of all winter heating related fire deaths.

Tips for electric space heater safety:

  • Maintain a four-foot tree free zone around space heaters.
  • Never leave a space heater on when absent or asleep.
  • Make sure your unit has no broken or malfunctioning parts.
  • Your unit should always be on a flat, solid surface.
  • Use only a unit with an automatic shut-off so that it shuts off if knocked over.
  • Never use extension cords.

Tips for Fuel burning space heaters:

  • Use only the fuel that the manufacturer specifies and the proper grade if the fuel is liquid.
  • Refuel the unit only outside or in a well-ventilated area.
  • Keep a window open when the unit is in operation.
  • Only use newly manufactured gas space heaters. If your old unit doesn’t have a mechanism that shuts it off when it detects low ambient oxygen, replace it.

Follow these tips for a safe holiday season, and visit this blog for more information throughout the year. In the face of serious property damage, turn to Guardian Adjusting to get your property repaired and your life back on track. Call us today and be ready for any eventuality the future may bring.

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