NFPA Offers Post-Christmas Fire Safety Tips

All Christmas trees can burn, but dry ones can be engulfed by flames significantly more quickly.

The National Fire Protection Association offered some timely tips Dec. 29 for preventing post-Christmas fires, noting that its statistics show nearly 40 percent of home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. "Although these fires are not common, they are much more likely to be serious when they do occur. On average, one of every 31 reported home structure Christmas tree fires resulted in a death. Compare that to an average of one death per 144 total reported home structure fires," according to NFPA.

All Christmas trees can burn, but dry ones can be engulfed by flames significantly more quickly.

NFPA recommends using your local community's recycling program for tree disposal and says Christmas trees should not be put in the garage or left outside. And the organization posted recommendations for removing lighting and decorations from trees to ensure they are taken down safely this year and in the right condition for Christmas 2016:

  • Use the gripping area on the plug when unplugging electrical decorations. Never pull the cord to unplug any device from an electrical outlet.
  • As you pack up light strings, inspect each line for damage and throw away any set that has 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 and where they will not be damaged by water or moisture.

For additional information for a fire-safe winter season, visit this page.

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