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Christmas trees are a beautiful holiday decoration, but they can be dangerous, too. Even if you have an artificial tree, there are hazards to avoid. The last thing anyone wants is to have their Christmas Celebration destroyed by fire. Here are some quick tips and precautions to follow for safety.

Check out this video on the difference of a fire involving a dry tree vs. a wet tree.



Picking your tree

  • Choose a tree that has fresh, green needles that don't fall off easily when touched. Be sure to shake the tree. If lots of needles fall... move on.
  • Make sure artificial trees are labeled, certified, or identified as fire retardant.

Setting up your tree

  • Once you get your tree home, keep your tree in water until you are ready to set it up.
  • Cut 1–2” from the base of the trunk before putting it in the stand. Add water immediately.
  • Make sure the location of the tree in your home is away from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, heating vents, woodstoves, candles or light fixtures.
  • Don't block exits.

Decorating and caring for your tree

  • Use either indoor or outdoor lights, but do not use both together.
  • Check all strings of lights for worn wires, cracked sockets or broken bulbs. Replace any strings of lights that are damaged, don't try to fix them.
  • Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
  • Never light real candles to decorate your tree.
  • Don't leave lights on when the tree is not attended. If something happens you need to be there to take quick action as trees can go up in a flash. ALWAYS turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Water your tree EVERY DAY. Note: if the tree isn't drinking any water pay close attention to its condition.

After Christmas

  • When your tree begins dropping needles and seems dry, get rid of it. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home, garage, or placed outside against the home.
  • Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove. They burn in a flash that you can't control and sparks easily jump causing a house fire. They burn so hot that you could damage your firebox and chimney. Don't even try using it for kindling.
  • Check with your local community to find a recycling program. 

Source: National Fire Protection Association

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The information provided in these articles are only general descriptions and should not be relied upon as complete, correct or accurate for your specific situation. All coverage informaiton is subject to policy provisions, endorsements and may be  subject to your meeting underwriting qualifications. Murphy Insurance Agency is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other noninsurance professional services. Consult an appropriate professional for advice regarding your own situation.