Nothing says the holidays like a fresh Christmas tree carefully trimmed and lit up with lights. Yet, a beautiful tree can also be a safety hazard, if proper safety steps are taken. In fact, although they’re pretty rare, Christmas tree fires result in $10+ million in property – every year! Nearly one-third of all fires are caused by electrical problems.
If you’ll be bringing home a fresh tree this year, there are some helpful safety tips you can take to light your Christmas tree. From keeping your tree watered, to practicing electrical safety, these six Christmas tree lighting tips can help you reduce your fire risk.
1. Choose a Fresh Tree
Dried out trees are at a much greater risk of catching fire, and that’s why when you’re at the Christmas tree market, you should look for a fresh one. You might be wondering: But what exactly should you be looking for?
Here are a few signs of a tree’s freshness:
- A fresh tree won’t shed needles
- The branches shouldn’t break easily
- The needles should have a vibrant green color
2. Practice Electrical Safety
There are many safety measures you can take to protect your home from electrical fire during the holidays. A surge protector, for example, prevents short circuits, which is one of the most common causes of electrical malfunction.
Another tip: Use an automatic timer. You should turn out the lights each night, and an automatic timer makes it so that you’ll never forget.
3. Regularly Water Your Tree
Stay ahead of watering. You should add water to the tree stand every day. Christmas trees can dry out quickly, and as they dry, they absorb heat more quickly. As the lights on the tree heat up, that can create a fire hazard. Watering is one way to prevent your tree from drying out.
4. Switch to LED Lights
LED lights look just as good as traditional incandescent. But there’s one key benefit: LEDs operate at much lower temperatures (and they last a lot longer). If it’s time to replace your lights, consider investing in LEDs. This will help to reduce fire risk.
5. Inspect Your Lights
Whether you’ve purchased brand-new lights, or you’ve dug them out of the attic, make sure you inspect your lights before plugging them in. Replace any damaged bulbs, and also be looking for damage to wire insulation, exposed wires, faulty connections and broken plugs. If you notice damage to the wire or exposed wires, you should discard the lights.
6. Avoid Overloading Extension Cords
Keep an eye out for the wattage rating of your extension cord, as well as the power requirements of your light strands. Overheating will occur if your lights’ power requirements exceed the wattage rating, and this is one of the most common causes of holiday home fires.
Have a Merry and Safe Holiday Season
We hope these tips help you protect your home this holiday season. Also, if you have a lighting question or need help decorating your home, Clean and Clear Lighting can help. We install exterior holiday lights throughout the Twin Cities region, and we’d love to help you bring cheer to your home during the holidays.
Get a quote from Clean and Clear today. We install Christmas lights throughout the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region.