Christmas Tree Safety

     It seems every year you hear a story about how a Christmas Tree started a house fire.  Some fires are put out rapidly while others leave the family homeless for the holidays.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a fire could happen since according to the U.S. Fire Administration there are over 33 million homes with live Christmas Trees in them over the holidays.  The Fire Administration also says, "Christmas trees account for 200 fires annually, resulting in 6 deaths, 25 injuries and more than $6 million in property damage."  According to their website as well as many others,  these fires could be prevented if the tree is watered sufficiently. 

<%image(20061220-firesmall.jpg|200|150|Boundary Waters Fire)%>

    Living on the Gunflint Trail this past summer we experienced how dangerous dry trees can be.  The lack of rain and humidity dried the forest out making the conditions perfect for forest fires.  When you bring a tree into your house in the winter the conditions can be very similar.  Add some electrical lights, a little bit of heat, or a spark from a fireplace or candle and the results can be devastating.  Take a look at this video clip to see how quickly a tree can ignite when it is dry. 

     We want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy holiday so if you have a Christmas Tree in your house then be sure to keep it watered and follow these other tips for keeping your home safe for the holidays.

  • Water your tree daily.
  • Find a newly cut or fresh tree.
  • Set your tree up away from exits and fire hazards such as fireplaces & heaters.
  • Make sure your lights are in proper working order.
  • Supervise children and pets while they are near the tree.
  • Unplug Christmas lights when you are not in the room with the tree.
  • Water your tree again!