Both real and fake Christmas trees can conflagrate in mere seconds, filling the room with smoke and fire that can spread relentlessly through your entire home.
Sorry, we don’t mean to be The Grinch, but many festive families do not give enough attention to these incendiary homages.
The record is rife with terrible stories about avoidable injury and damage. Even your alarms may not give enough advance warning to keep pace with the agility and speed of the flames.
This holiday season, consider taking these steps, if you do not already:
• Look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don't break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn't be shedding its needles readily
• Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out
• Double check your home alarms have fresh batteries and are working properly
• Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights are ESA approved (it should say on the box) and discard/recycle any damaged lights or bulbs
• Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement and be sure to plug into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle
• Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and décor
• Bedtime means lights off - don't forget to turn your Christmas tree light switch each night and, if you use an automated timer, double-check that it is working properly
• When your tree begins to drop its needles profusely, it's time to say goodbye to your evergreen foliage until next year, even if your holidaying is not quite finished yet
• If you buy a pre-cut tree, consider sawing off an inch or two from the stump of the tree so water can be easily absorbed
Happy holidays, from the GrinchWards!