In terms of fire safety during the holidays, we’ve come a long way since the days of lighting candles in Christmas trees. Still, fire departments in the United States respond to an average of 200 Christmas tree fires every year—and the highest proportion of these result from electrical failure. If you’re concerned about your tree bursting into flames, you may have wondered: are artificial Christmas trees safer?
Artificial Trees Can Catch Fire, Too
Having an artificial tree comes with a few perks. You don’t need to purchase a new one every year or water it daily. They drop fewer needles in your home. But they have downsides as well. For one, they don’t smell as lovely. Nor are they completely resistant to catching fire.
It’s true that artificial Christmas trees aren’t as likely to burst into flames as a dry but real tree. And if they do catch on fire, they shouldn’t burn as intensely. This is because few things burn as fast and as hot as a dried-out conifer.
Still, don’t assume that your tree is completely safe from a fire safety standard because it is artificial. These days, most artificial trees come coated with a flame-retardant substance. You should reapply this every few years. And even so, keep in mind that your tree isn’t completely flame-proof. You should still follow your best practices such as turning off / unplugging the lights when no one is around.
What About Real Trees?
There are plenty of reasons to invest in an artificial Christmas tree. But fire safety isn’t necessarily one of them. As long as your tree is still alive and well-watered, it isn’t likely to burst into flames before you could get to it with a fire extinguisher.
If you’re buying pre-cut trees, here are some tips to make sure that it isn’t too old or dried out:
- Make sure the needles don’t come off too easily
- Check for sap on the trunk
- Make sure limbs and twigs are flexible, not snapping or breaking
- Lightly tap it on the ground, and make sure it retains its needles well
Once you’ve selected a tree that passes these tests, go ahead and make a second cut on its trunk. This will help it to soak up water. Now that you’ve gotten it home, make sure it has water at all times! If the bottom of the trunk isn’t covered by an inch or two of water, it could dry out. Check this at least twice daily.
Fear of a house fire should not overshadow your enjoyment of the holidays. If you keep in mind what we’ve said today, you can rest at ease.
Commercial and Residential Fire Prevention from Judd Fire Protection
If you want to ensure your home and business are safe throughout the year, trust Judd Fire Protection, LLC. We have over two decades of experience in designing, installing, inspecting, and repairing residential and commercial fire protection systems. We serve clients throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia. If you are interested in finding out more about our services and protecting your home and business, give us a call at 410-871-3480 or contact us online. For more fire safety tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.