Christmas Tree and Fire Safety

In Kazakhstan, my home country, celebrating Christmas is not very common. However, we have a similar tradition of celebrating – with gifts under the Christmas tree, family feasts and Santa Claus. And this tradition is dedicated to the meeting of the new year.

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The New Year is one of the most beloved family holidays in the year. December 31 in each family is held in preparation for the holiday – cooking New Year’s dishes, preparing gifts, watching popular New Year’s movies and, of course, decorating the Fir trees.

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Christmas Tree was a symbol of December Holidays for more than 500 years, introducing the spirit of celebration and joy into the house. However, during the age of modernization, seemingly innocuous trees can make certain danger for the Fire safety. Electrical failures or malfunctions were involved in nearly half of the fires, igniting the tree with sparks or small electrical fires.

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In 2016, the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) published research that dry Christmas tree can burn faster than newspaper. Here is a video by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), that will show why it is important to water the Christmas Tree. 

NFPA also published 11 Tips how to prevent Christmas Tree & Holiday Decoration Fires.

  1. Make sure string lights have no loose connections, cracked lamps or frayed cords.
  2. Use only a single extension cord that can reach your home’s outlet without being too long and being tangled.
  3. Use UL-approved lights and cords.
  4. Make sure lights are off when you go out and before you turn in for the night.
  5. Make sure all outdoor light connectors are away from metal rain gutters and off the ground.
  6. Never use candles to light or decorate a tree.
  7. To lessen the chance of a fire hazard, purchase a freshly cut tree.
  8. Make sure to keep your tree at least three feet away from any heat source.
  9. Water the tree every day, and remove it from your home after Christmas or once it becomes dry.
  10. Don’t burn Christmas tree branches or wrapping paper in your fireplace.
  11. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that could burn.

Take care of yourself and Happy Holidays to IMFSE family! I would like to wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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