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Stay Safe With These Christmas Tree Safety Tips

Christmas trees cause $13 million in damage each year. Instead of being part of a statistic, follow safety tips. You’ll be making good memories instead of bad memories. Sometimes, you just don’t realize that certain sources of heat, such as the heat from a television, could cause a drying tree to burst into flames. Stay safe with these Christmas tree safety tips and enjoy the holidays!

Choosing the Perfect Tree

Not only should the perfect tree have no holes in the branches and stand straight, it should not be starting to dry out before you even take it home. Check the tree carefully – needles should not readily fall off and the branches should bend, not break or snap off. If you don’t have a way to cut about 2 inches off the bottom of the trunk, ask the tree lot if they’ll do it for you. Cutting the bottom will allow the tree to hydrate easier and it will stay fresh for a longer period of time.

Placing the Tree

Choose a spot that is not near any heat sources. This includes televisions and other electronics, space heaters, heating vents, fireplaces and other sources of heat. Keep anything with an open flame away from the tree. If you have a fireplace, be sure to use the screen over the front. Although the tree may be 3 or more feet away, sometimes sparks fly out far enough to reach the tree.

As the tree dries out, the tree becomes more combustible and could easily catch on fire. Also be sure the tree does not block an exit. As soon as you get the tree in its stand, water it. Check the water every day to ensure that it has plenty so it doesn’t dry out.

Tree Lights

Check all strands of tree lights before you put them on the tree. If a strand has cracked wires or frayed ends, through it away. Also, check for loose bulb connections. Do not plug more than three strings of lights into one outlet, as that could cause the outlet and the lights to heat up more than normal. If possible, use LED lights as they are cooler than traditional lights. Make sure the label on the lights show that they have been tested. Finally, never leave the Christmas tree lights on all night. As tempting as it might be, never use lit candles on the tree.

After Christmas

Some people prefer to keep their live tree up until after the new year. But, what should you do with your Christmas tree after Christmas is over?  If the tree is still fresh, you may do this; however, as soon as you notice it drooping and dropping more needles, remove the tree. A drooping tree is completely dried out and is a major fire hazard. Don’t store the tree in your garage – it needs to be disposed of properly. You can set the tree outside away from the house to provide shelter for birds and other animals or you can dispose of it pursuant to your community’s regulations.

Additional Safety Tips

  • Though it may be cold, if you are frying a turkey for Christmas, be sure to do it outside. Keep the fryer at least 10 feet away from the house.
  • If you haven’t had your chimney checked this year, have it checked and cleaned, especially if you burn green wood.
  • Test all of the smoke alarms in your home to ensure they are working. Change the batteries if they haven’t been changed in 6 months.
  • Make sure you have the appropriate fire extinguishers and that you know how to put out a grease fire. Never put water on a grease fire – it will just cause it to spread. You need the correct fire extinguisher or, for smaller grease fires, you may smother them.

Stay safe and enjoy the holidays!

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About The Author
Gus Testa

Gus Testa, Top Realtor with On Point Carolinas Realty, LLC, has been in real estate sales and management since 1977. In 1993, after leaving family, friends and his owned real estate franchise firm behind, he and his wife Beth made the decision to “head South” with their 2 sons. Since that time there has been no looking back. Gus immediately began working for a local and well respected new home builder, building beautiful neighborhoods in and around the Charlotte area. In his first year of new home sales he was awarded “Rookie of the Year” for the highest volume of sales for the company. Then in 2002, it was time to move on and Gus joined major developer Crescent Resources as one of their Residential Sales Associates. From 2002 through 2012, Gus along with his business partner Kim McBee, continually sold several million dollars in volume and became very familiar with the movers and shakers in the Real Estate industry in and around the Lake Norman area, the Charlotte area and the Northern most portions of South Carolina. In 2013 Gus and Kim partnered with a local developer to open On Point Carolinas Realty, LLC; a full service real estate company, listing and selling new and re-sale homes and home sites. Gus holds licenses in both North and South Carolina.

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