A Christmas Tree Glow, Not a Blaze
For many Americans, scouting the perfect Christmas tree, whether at the local lot or a rural tree farm, is a treasured holiday tradition.
If the ambiance and aroma of a real tree far outweigh the convenience of an artificial tree in your home, your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) remind you that bringing a real tree into the house also brings a real risk of fire, particularly if the tree is allowed to dry out in a room filled with flammable furniture, carpets, and gifts. Your glowing centerpiece can quickly turn into a flaming disaster.
Your Trusted Choice agent always stands ready to offer advice and a comprehensive review of your current insurance coverage and needs, and we assure you that a proper homeowner’s policy will respond for damages to your property caused by fire. But while insurance may repair or replace your damaged property, it can never repair or replace the loss of holiday magic and joy. In the spirit of the insurance adage, “The best claim is the one you never have,” here are a few timely tree safety tips direct from the folks at NFPA:
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
- Before placing the tree in a stand, saw 2” off the base of the trunk.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, such as a fireplace, radiator, candle, heat vent, or light.
- Situate the tree so it is not blocking an exit.
- Add water to the tree stand. Replenish the water daily.
- Use tree lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are intended only for indoor or outdoor use.
- Replace any string of lights that has worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
- Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets. Connect a maximum of 50 screw-in bulbs.
- Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands that can be connected safely.
- Never use lighted candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.