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Are Christmas Trees Are a Real Fire Hazard?

Christmas Trees Are a Real Fire Hazard

With the Holiday season in full gear, we will be setting up a wonderful Christmas Tree in our Raleigh home.  Be it a beautiful natural tree or an artificial one, Raleigh homeowners, property investors, and tenants need to be wary of the hazard this ornament brings into their homes.

Christmas Tree-Related Fires

Decorated Christmas Tree Near Fireplace at HomeLike candle fires, Christmas tree fires are more common during the holidays, with 43% occurring in December and 39% in January. The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) says an average of 230 fires are attributed to Christmas trees each year and they are more likely to be serious because of the factors that can contribute to the fire: a dry tree, electrical lights, and a fuel supply (gifts) under the tree. Christmas tree fires cause an average of $18.3 million in property damage each year.

The most common causes are electrical failures (32%), having the tree too close to a heat source like a fireplace or woodstove (17%), or being too close to candles (7%).

Think an artificial Christmas tree can’t burn your Raleigh home?

Think again! The dust that accumulates on an artificial Christmas tree year after year is highly flammable. Pre-lit artificial trees are especially susceptible to this.  Each time an artificial tree is put together and then taken apart, the wiring for the lights begins to break down.  Risks of sparks and shocks increase each year the tree is used. A small spark can ignite the dust on the artificial tree thus catching surrounding additional flammables on fire. According to UL, a public safety group, pre-lit trees can also have additional dangerous metal and chemicals, including mercury, cadmium, and chromium.

Christmas Tree Safety Tips for Your Raleigh Home

  • Choose a fresh tree with green needles.
  • Make sure your tree is properly stabilized.
  • Water your tree daily and dispose of them before they become dry.
  • Beware of decorations that pets may tug on or play with, causing your tree to fall.
  • Place your tree at least three feet away from floor vents, fireplaces, radiators, candles, lamps, and other heat sources.
  • Use indoor lights that are approved by a national testing organization such as UL.
  • Turn off tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Check lights for any shorts or other electrical issues before putting them on the tree.
  • Replace lights that have worn or broken cords or loose connections.
  • Do not overload your electrical outlets.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands you can safely connect.
  • Always turn off or unplug lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
  • Install working smoke alarms on every level of your home, especially inside and outside sleeping areas.
  • Practice your family’s fire escape plan.

At Real Property Management Excellence, we comprehend that your life is hectic and you can’t often keep abreast of everything while at the same time going about your personal and professional life. Our team of Raleigh property managers is prepared to take that burden off your shoulders. We take care of all tenant communication, along with educating them on significant elements like Christmas tree removal. Contact us or call us at 919-827-1107 today.

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