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Christmas Tree Fire Safety Tips
More Christmas trees are starting to appear in the windows of houses as we near closer to the festive season! Remember to keep these safety tips in mind when buying and decorating your tree this year.
- If you prefer an artificial tree, ensure it is marked as fire retardant.
- When buying a real tree, go for the freshest one you can get. A strong green colour and noticeable fragrance should be a good indication. Give it a tap on the ground to check that only a few needles drop off.
- When you get your tree home, cut a few inches off the bottom of the trunk, and place in a water holding stand. Keep checking the water levels of your tree and top it up daily. A well-watered tree holds moisture which prevents the fast spread of fire. The video below shows just how important this point is by illustrating the difference in a dry Christmas tree fire (left) and a well-watered tree (right).
- A wide spaced stand is much more stable.
- Position your tree away from obvious heat sources in a room, e.g. fire or radiators, or sources of ignition such as TVs. Also make sure they are not blocking an escape route.
- Check the age of your Christmas lights. Consider buying new lights that have higher safety regulations.
- Inspect all bulbs and cables for damage and replace any blown bulbs.
- Don’t run cable under carpet or anywhere it could get damaged and don’t overload sockets.
- Don’t let bulbs touch anything that burns easily such as paper.
- Check your Christmas lights conform to British Standard.
- Switch off and unplug all lights when leaving the house or going to bed.
- Never use real candles on a Christmas tree.
- Remember to buy whatever batteries you may need so you are not tempted to remove any from smoke alarms.
- Don’t attach decorations to lights or heaters.
- Keep paper or card decorations away from candles and heat sources.
- Don’t put decorations immediately above or around the fireplace.
- Don’t leave candles unattended.
- Dispose of your tree promptly after Christmas – ideally 2 weeks after purchase. The tree will have completely dried out by this point in a centrally heated home.
- Dispose of your tree properly in a recycling centre, do not put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove.
- Ensure you have a working smoke alarm on all levels of your home.
By keeping these simple tips in mind, you will be able to have a happy and SAFE Christmas.