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NFPA encourages prompt removal of Christmas trees

 

Last updated 1/14/2019 at 2:25pm



QUINCY, Mass. – For anyone having trouble parting with their Christmas tree, here’s a fact to motivate them: One-third or 33 percent of U.S. home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. With the potential fire hazard in mind, the National Fire Protection Association strongly encouraged everyone to remove Christmas trees from their homes promptly after the holiday season.

“Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasingly flammable as they continue to dry out,” Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of outreach and advocacy, said. “The longer you keep one in your home, the more of a fire hazard it becomes.”

NFPA statistics showed that Christmas tree fires are not common, but when they do occur, they’re much more likely to be serious. On annual average, one of every 45 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to one death per 139 total reported home structure fires.

All Christmas trees can burn, but a dried out tree can become engulfed in flames in a matter of seconds,” Carli said. “In recent years, we’ve seen tragic incidents where Christmas tree fires have resulted in deadly consequences for multiple family members, including young children.”

NFPA recommended using the local community’s recycling program for tree disposal, if possible; trees should not be put in the garage or left outside. The association also offered these tips for safely removing lighting and decorations and storing them properly to ensure that they’re in good condition the following season.

First, use the gripping area on the plug when unplugging electrical decorations. Never pull the cord to unplug any device from an electrical outlet, as this can harm the wire and insulation of the cord, increasing the risk for shock or electrical fire.

While packing up light strings, inspect each line for damage, throwing out any sets that have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires.

Wrap each set of lights and put them in individual plastic bags, or wrap them around a piece of cardboard.

Store electrical decorations in a dry place away from children and pets where they will not be damaged by water or dampness.

For more information, visit https://www.nfpa.org/.

Submitted by National Fire Protection Association.

 

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