February 25, 2024
Photograph by Chris Stone

As you’re packing up vacation decorations and enthusiastic about maintaining the tree a bit of longer do you know greater than one-third (34 p.c) of U.S. residence fires involving Christmas timber happen in January?

With this post-holiday hearth hazard in thoughts, the Nationwide Hearth Safety Affiliation strongly encourages everybody to maintain festive recollections and take away the hazards by disposing of Christmas timber promptly after the vacation season.

“As a lot as all of us take pleasure in the appear and feel of Christmas timber in our houses, they’re massive flamable objects which have the potential to end in severe fires,” mentioned Lorraine Carli, vice chairman of Outreach and Advocacy. “The longer Christmas timber stay in houses, the longer they current a danger.”

Carli notes that contemporary Christmas timber, which proceed to dry out and turn into extra flammable over time, are concerned in a a lot bigger share of reported Christmas tree fires than synthetic timber.

Based on the most recent statistics from NFPA, there was an estimated annual common of 150 residence construction fires that started with Christmas timber, leading to one civilian loss of life, 10 civilian accidents, and $14 million in direct property harm between 2017 and 2021. Total, fires that start with Christmas timber signify a really small however notable a part of the U.S. hearth drawback, contemplating that they’re usually in use for a short while every year.

To soundly get rid of a Christmas tree, NFPA recommends utilizing the area people’s recycling program, if potential; timber shouldn’t be put within the storage or left exterior. NFPA additionally affords the following tips for safely eradicating lighting and decorations to make sure that they continue to be in good situation:

  • Use the gripping space on the plug when unplugging electrical decorations. By no means pull the twine to unplug any machine from {an electrical} outlet, as this will hurt the wire and insulation of the twine, rising the danger of shock or electrical hearth.
  • As you pack up gentle strings, examine every line for harm, throwing out any units which have free connections, damaged sockets, or cracked or naked wires.
  • Wrap every set of lights and put them in particular person plastic baggage or wrap them round a chunk of cardboard.
  • Retailer electrical decorations in a dry place away from youngsters and pets the place they won’t be broken by water or dampness.

For extra info on residence hearth security all winter lengthy, go to “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires,” a winter security marketing campaign NFPA promotes yearly with the U.S. Hearth Administration.