By Tammy Moore Teague
This is part two in our series featuring holiday safety tips from Northwest Scott Fire Department Chief Donnie Adkins.
Don’t let Christmas ever heat up too much — with fire that is. Did you know that Christmas trees alone result in 13 million dollars, annually, in property damage? More importantly, these fires present real risk towards family and friends. When showcasing a live tree in your home, the combination of tree dryness, electrical malfunction with lights and poorly located heating sources can make for a deadly combination.
BUT IF YOUR HOLIDAY IS JUST NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT A LIVE TREE, FOLLOW THESE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS TO KEEP THREATS AT BAY:
* Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so 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.
* Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested for safety, and throw out any damaged lights.
* Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement, and be sure to plug them 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 lights off each night.
When your tree begins to drop its needles, it’s time to say goodbye to your evergreen. All this safety advice presented by the National Fire Protection Association.