Have A Safe and Merry Christmas: A Christmas Tree Safety Tip 2022

Dec 10, 2021 | Personal Insurance

The holidays are fast approaching. Anywhere in the world, a sudden cold breeze will soon cover the land. It’s time to pull out your winter coats, grab a pumpkin spice latte, and start thinking of how you will celebrate the holidays this year. Is everyone on your Christmas list friendly? Will everyone in your family be available for that Christmas holiday postcard? Having a Christmas tree, too, could brighten up your home!

Before you do all that, there are things that you all need to consider. 

Since 2014, the US Fire Department has received and responded to a call with an estimated number of 160 houses / structured fires per year, and this is all Christmas Tree related. In December, a staggering 43% of Christmas tree-related fires are recorded, and 31% a month after. 

But fret not; Advantage Insurance Solutions is here to share some tips for your Christmas trees and decorations.

Did You Know? –  Egyptians started using the evergreen tree as a tradition to welcome the winter solstice. At the same time, the Romans used the evergreen to make wreaths for the roman holiday of Saturnalia.

Plan Ahead!

If you live in a condo or apartment building, you need to consider that the HOA will allow you to get a fresh tree. Another HOA does not allow tenants to bring trees inside for fire safety reasons. (A sound judgment if you ask me.) 

But if you have a standard stand-alone house, then you need to make sure that you have adequate space for your tree. You need to have a contingency plan on how you can place the tree inside your house and how to unpack it after the holidays. 

Once you’re done with this checklist, go ahead and get to your truck and head out to the nearest tree dealer. But remember that fire safety starts as you walk in that tree farm. There are things that you need to consider in purchasing a tree. Remember the space allotment you have, although the big luscious tree looks good on that postcard, if your house cannot fit it, scratch that fantasy off of your mind.

The best time to go and get that live tree is late November and the First Week of December. Selecting the best tree will make sure that you’ll get the most out of the price. A more detailed discussion is below.

Did You Know? – Latvia started decorating its trees in the early 1500s, however, they did not use special ornaments they used food to decorate it, like gingerbread, apples, walnuts, sugar candy, and berries.

Christmas Tree Dilemma. Artificial VS Fresh Live Tree

Admit it or not, there is a huge dilemma in deciding if you want to make use of the artificial tree you bought a couple of years back or do you get a Fresh Live tree for this year. Here are some points that can help you make that decision. 

Artificial Tree:

Every year, more and more households choose Artificial and Fake Christmas trees. Due to tradition, we always use the tree as a centerpiece.

Cost – The artificial tree is highly cost-effective. Depending on your style, the tree can cost less than the live tree. If you are trying to minimize the cost of Christmas decorations, an artificial tree will save you in the long run.

Convenient – For the busy family, you can use an artificial tree, and as well even the clean-up is easy. A simple pat can help you clean it, there is no need to water it, and a lesser chance of leaves falling out. 

Transportation – It is extremely light, in comparison to a fresh tree. Larger artificial trees are collapsible and can be broken down into tiny pieces. You can easily store this under the cupboard and garage.

Disposal – Buying a Christmas tree is one thing, cleaning it up is another thing. Artificial trees are easy to store. You don’t need to dispose of the tree and need to only change the decoration around it to make it look new every year. 

Longevity – No need to rush towards the tree farm… There are families across the world that starts decorating for the Christmas holiday right after Halloween. So, you can imagine that if you bought a fresh tree the first week of November, by December 25th you’ll have a log, not a tree anymore. A Plastic tree can last you from November until whenever you decide to take it out. 

Safety As a primary concern, safety should be the first item that you check before purchasing. Make sure you keep it away from direct heat, as plastic can easily melt.

Fresh Christmas Tree:

Nothing can beat the experience of having an actual fresh tree for your Holiday festivities. The mood it sets can make the yuletide party a far more memorable experience.

Support The Local – When you purchase a live tree, you support the local small businesses such as dealers and farms across your state and in America. And according to CTA, the company provides more than 100,000 jobs.

Eco Friendly – 93% of Christmas Trees each year are recycled and support more than 4000 programs across the US.

One for One – every year, when the trees are cut and brought to the dealers, farmers immediately replace the tree with another one. This ensures that the cycle farm is sustained.

Health – Many studies show that having a Live Tree increases stress and mental fatigue recovery. 

A Complete Family Bonding – It starts with the tree selection with your family. Then the decoration. We have different activities that involve the whole family. 

Did You Know? – The Christmas tree is a German tradition popularized by Queen Charlotte, the wife of then King George III. Many other people thought it was Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria, who started it, but Charlotte started it 40 years before Albert did.

Fire Safety for Christmas Trees

For Live Christmas Tree

It would help if you chose the freshest tree on the tree farm. Here are things that you need to check when purchasing.

  1. Needles – check the pine needles; bend them, and if it breaks easily, it is already dried out.
  2. Barks and Branches, try to hold it and shake it a bit. Barks shouldn’t fall or be easily removed. And if there are a lot of fallen needles.

For Artificial Trees

Make sure that you bought it from the certified dealer and identified manufacturer.

Where to Place It – where you place the tree is crucial for your safety.

  1. It must be at least 30 centimeters from the ceiling and at least a meter away from any heat source. 
  2. Before placing the tree, you need to cut at least 2 inches off the base.
  3. Make sure it is placed somewhere. It will not block any door and fire exits.
  4. Do not use actual burning candles near or on it. 
  5. Add water to the stand. Constantly sprinkle water on the branches and needles to ensure it is moist.

Light it Up!

Although not about a tree, every one of us wanted to light up that tree with lots of Christmas lights. But since it is connected to electricity, we must be careful placing it, especially if you are using a fresh tree. 

  1. Legitimacy – make sure you are using lights created and manufactured by legal companies with accreditation with known laboratories. This ensures that the lights that you are using pass a certain quality standard.
  2. No Overloading – some people go heavy-handed on putting Christmas lights on trees. Make sure you only place appropriate lights on a tree. Less is More. 
  3. No to Octopus Connection – Make sure that you use top-grade extension cords that can handle the load of lights that you are using. If the extension cord is already loaded, do not plug in another extension cord on it. Instead, use the additional extension cord and plug it into a different socket. 
  4. Indoors VS Outdoors – Indoor Christmas lights are light, they can not withstand the harsh environment outside the house. They usually have thinner cables; if left outside, the wild animals can start chipping it away, leaving an exposed line.
  5. Check the cable lines – See if the extension cord or Christmas lights have any exposed lines that might cause electrocution and/or fire.

The Clean-Up

All the excitement of putting up and decorating the tree is as boring and annoying as you take them down for clean-up. 

  1. Lights – make sure that your lights are not tangled and properly coiled out. This will make sure that the cables are properly secured and can be easily used once the need arises. Inspect each line and light before storing. If there are any cracks and exposed wiring. Make sure to throw them away so you can avoid using them at the next celebration. The same goes with the electrical cords that you made use of. 
  2. Lanterns and Wreaths – make sure that they are neatly kept away in a box in the cupboard or the garage. 
  3. Christmas Trees (Artificial) – These trees are usually collapsible and divided into 3, depending on if you get a bigger one. But all the instructions on installing and uninstalling them should be available in the box. The pleasant thing about this is that they can be stored away like any other ornaments. Make sure that you cleaned it up with towels so if ever you pulled them out again, they are as fresh as the day you bought them.
  4. Christmas Tree (Live) – This one is tedious. Since it does not collapse, you have to strategically remove them from inside your house. 
    1. Do not just dump the old tree in your back or front yard. This can attract wildlife and insects.
    2. Make sure that you clean up all the little needles on the floor, they go inside the small cracks and can easily be missed.
    3. Some can trigger allergies with these needles.
    4. Call your local community program that handles this kind of recycling.

For any other trips with regards to making sure that your Holiday Season is safe

Before You Go:

Christmas tree has and forever will be a tradition for everyone. It is a sign that brings everyone together. Every year, millions upon millions of families and friends gathered in front of a tree, laughing, singing, and creating happy memories. With this in mind, there is a higher risk of accidents with this kind of gathering. And that we need to double our efforts to make sure that not just our tree, but our family and property are completely safe. There is no harm in making sure we continually enjoy our Christmas Holidays and be secured. 

There is no difference between whether you choose an Artificial Christmas Tree or a Fresh Live Christmas tree. The important thing is the memory you and your families and friends will have around it. Take pictures, be merry and enjoy your pumpkin spice latte underneath those trees. 

On Behalf of the staff and people behind Team AIS, we wish you a Merry Christmas and A Bountiful New Year! 

Looking for the best independent agent near you? We have insurance experts here to help you at Advantage Insurance Solutions here in Denver, CO. Call us now! We can help tailor your coverage to your specific needs, maximize protection at the best value, and suggest discounts that insurers give for bundle deals!

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