Christmas Tree Safety

As we approach another Christmas season, we need to always remember safety. During this time is prime for traffic accidents , fires, falls, and other traumatic incidents. But today we are going to focus on Christmas Tree Safety. It seems every year that the public is so excited that they rush the season by putting their tree in their homes earlier and earlier. I have even heard of people putting out their trees two weeks before the American Thanksgiving Holiday. We are going to cover the hazards of two types of Christmas Trees that are found in homes today, Real and Fake.

 

Real Christmas Tree

There is nothing like the joy and the smell of putting up a real Christmas Tree. According to FEMA real Christmas trees account for roughly 250 fires annually. That may seem like a small number, but out of the 250 fires , roughly 14 people die. Now that is 250 fires too many. Its not even worth one life. Not to mention the 14 million dollars of damage they cause to house holds. NFPA and FEMA offer suggestions when dealing with real trees.

 

What about Fake Christmas Trees?

There are many people that decide to buy a fake tree. Many reason are due to, budget, allergies, and etc. What ever the reason may be, over 10 million fake trees where sold world wide in 2003. Most fake trees that are imported to the United States are from China. Fake trees are typically made from plastic and other synthetic material when exposed to a heat or ignition will catch fire.

Below are some tips to help you during this Christmas Season when dealing with fake and real Christmas trees.

 

1st. Water your Tree!! ( a dry tree is a fire bomb waiting to explode )  all it needs is an ignition source to get it going. Make sure your real tree has a fresh cut of one to two inches, so that it may better absorb the water.

2nd. Never have lit candles near your tree. This provides a ignition source to all trees.

3rd. Placement of the tree is critical. Becareful about placing your tree around vents and fire places. They can dry out your tree faster and can be a ignition source for your tree.

4th. Check your lights. Make sure you are using the newest brand of lights that are on the market. Newer lights are manufactured to a standard of care than older lights were. If you have older lights, it may be time to replace them.

5th. Do not over load your circuits and outlets. Most lights allow you to plug multiple strands together. This it self may cause a short or a spark. Its best to use a power strip with a built in serge protector, drop cords are a no no. We have all seen the movie a Christmas Story, pay special attention to scene of when the old man gets his lamp and he attempts to plug it in to a overloaded outlet.

6th. When your real tree has dried out, it is time to get rid of it. The longer a dry tree stays in your home, the greater the chance you are taking.

"The video clip above from the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology illustrates what happens when fire touches a dry tree. Within three seconds of ignition, the dry Scotch pine is completely ablaze. At five seconds, the fire extends up the tree and black smoke with searing gases streaks across the ceiling. Fresh air near the floor feeds the fire. The sofa, coffee table and the carpet ignite prior to any flame contact. Within 40 seconds "flashover" occurs – that's when an entire room erupts into flames, oxygen is depleted and dense, deadly toxic smoke engulfs the scene." Quoted from FEMA

DISCLAIMER: This post is for informational purposes only. Information and research was taken from NFPA, FEMA, and the Nation Christmas Tree Safety Association. This post was short and to the point. We suggest that everyone to reaserch the dangers of Christmas Trees, real or fake. We help that everyone have a safe and Merry Christmas!!

 

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Comments
Edward Mills
Have we forgotten Tradition in the fire service ?!?!?
It is a shame! Tradition and knowing where you came from is as important as training. It brings a sense of pride that you carry on. I gave a class on tradition to our explorers, because I thought it was important. They have to know where the fire service came from and it's beginnings!!
2013-03-17 11:03:44
Edward Mills
Have we forgotten Tradition in the fire service ?!?!?
Thats why last November I gave a one hour presentation to our explorers about the history and traditions of the Fire Dept. It seems that when you join a fire department today, you are trained on SOP's and firefighting practices. You are trained on the use of all the equiptment BUT no one mentions history…
2013-02-05 18:04:04
XTRUKY
Have we forgotten Tradition in the fire service ?!?!?
Now days you can be suspended or terminated for putting water in a Probie's boots. No more teasing the new kids? get real. If you are upset cause your feet got wet, and everyone laughed at you, then perhaps the Fire Service is not for you, pack up your panties and go to the police…
2013-02-02 11:18:25
Lee
Have we forgotten Tradition in the fire service ?!?!?
I am one of those administration folks that is trying to keep what common sense and life I have left. I agree with everything you say. Fire Department across the country are built on traditions...one tradition I saw go away was pushing in a new rig in the station by firefighters instead of backing in…
2013-02-02 07:59:02
Chris Davis
Have we forgotten Tradition in the fire service ?!?!?
I swear sometimes what people try to do int the name of "political correctness" makes my sick! I have NEVER heard of a new rig not getting a wet-down. I thought that tradition was one of the biggest parts of our profession. If we have sunk so low as to forget our history then as…
2013-01-25 18:57:52

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