Avoiding Holiday Tree Home-Fire Risks

As the days get shorter and evening turns to night quicker, the holiday season dispels the season’s cold weather and related doldrums. Part of the revelry for many is the traditional holiday tree and accompanying tinsel and lighting. While the décor certainly may add to the heightened festive aura, utmost care should be taken to avoid fire risks.To fully understand the severity of the associated hazards, consider the following data brought to ‘light’ by the Homeowners insurance claim studies:1. Between the dates of 2011 and 2015, there were approximately a couple hundred home fires a year that were related to the holiday tree. Of those, 6 deaths, 16 injuries and more than fourteen million dollars in damages were the direct consequences for each year of the occurrences.

2. 40 percent of X-mas tree fires were due to faulty electric supply or erroneous tree decoration lighting.3. Twenty-six percent of tree home fires and 80 percent of the related tragic fatalities occurred because of lighted candles or heating appliances that were positioned too close to the tree.4. Twenty-four percent of X-mas holiday tree fires were acts of arson, deliberately started to incur damage.5. The month of December had the most holiday tree fires and the month of January was not far behind in associated home fires.6. 37 percent of home fires started due to tree hazards took place either in the home living room, den or family room.How does the homeowner prevent a holiday tree fire? Here are the safety guidelines that the experts bring.8 Tips to Enjoying Holiday Tree Safety1. Only use USL certified decorative lighting
2. Check electric cords for wear and tear. If there is damage, do not use.
3. Check for bulb connection tightness. If the bulb is loose, do not use.
4. Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
5. Use only a fresh tree. Dried out trees increase the risk of fire.
6. Never go out of the house without turning off the holiday tree lights.
7. Never go to sleep before turning off the tree lights.
8. Following the holidays, do not store the tree in the garage, shed or basement. Dispose of it properly. It can be a fire hazard.

The holidays were meant to bring joy and cheer to friends and family. Don’t let your share of it be hampered by fire risks.Happy Holidays from the home, auto, business, workers comp and life insurance professionals!