Christmas Tree Safety Tips from Hilton Head Island Real Estate Brokers
Dec 5, 2014
Fresh, live Christmas trees are a popular holiday tradition. Live trees are beautiful, smell incredible, and really help invoke a sense of holiday spirit in homes througout the lowcountry. However, there are some risks and pitfalls when it comes to live trees. Here are some proven Christmas tree tips to help you avoid a holiday disaster!
- When selecting your tree, run your hands along the branches to make sure the needles aren’t dry or brittle. A fresh tree has green needles that don’t fall off when touched.
- Ask the vendor how long ago the trees were cut. If a tree is cut too early, there is a greater risk of it drying out before Christmas and becoming a dangerous fire hazard.
- Cut about 2 inches off the base of the tree before setting it into the tree stand to allow it to draw water more easily and keep it fresh longer.
- Water your Christmas tree regularly to keep it from drying out. Your tree stand should hold at least a gallon of water. Be sure to check it often; some larger trees can drink up to a gallon of water every two days!
- Set up your tree in an area of your home that is at least three feet from heat sources like fireplaces, candles, and heat vents. Do not place your tree in front of doorways or high-traffic areas.
- Purchase lights that are labeled properly and intended for indoor use. Do not use lights that are old or damaged, as this increases the risk for electrical fires. Read the manufacturers’ recommendations for how many strands of lights should be connected together.
- Turn of all lights before going to bed or leaving your home. This includes tree lights, candles, and other decorative lights. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “one of every three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical failures, and a heat source too close to the tree causes one in every six of the fires.”
- If your Christmas tree begins to look dull and starts to shed needles excessively, it is too dry and should be removed from the home to prevent a fire. Even if the holidays are not over, it’s not worth the risk to keep it up!
- Do not leave wrapping paper, boxes, or other flammable materials under the tree or close to heat sources.
- Remove your Christmas tree from your home as soon as possible after the holidays, and dispose of it properly. Check to see if your Hilton Head Island community has a tree recycling program. Do not burn your tree in the fireplace. Christmas trees burn very quickly and very hot; the fire could spread outside the fireplace and become very destructive.