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Tips for a safe real Christmas tree

Lifestyle

Tips for a safe real Christmas tree

Nearly half of UK residents who buy real Christmas trees, an estimated 7.7 million people, are placing themselves at risk of festive season fires.

We’re in the throws of Christmas Eve when many still opt for tonight to put up their pine tree. And these safety tips – whether it goes up tonight or has been up a few weeks – can help us all have a safe festive season if we’re opting for a ‘real tree’. The advice comes amidst a broader discussion on holiday safety, shedding light on the potential dangers associated with traditional Christmas decorations.

Plumbworld brings this issue to the forefront, aiming to raise awareness about the fire hazards of older, dried-out Christmas trees, a risk often overlooked by millions in the UK. They’ve put together a guide to ensure your tree is safe:

1. Check for Freshness:

  • How to Test: Gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward you. Very few needles should come off in your hand if the tree is fresh. Also, the needles should be flexible, not brittle.
  • Colour and Appearance: Look for vibrant green color. Avoid trees that look dry, have a significant amount of brown needles, or show signs of needle loss.
  • Trunk Test: Check the trunk of the tree. A sticky trunk indicates a fresh tree.

2. Keep Your Tree Well-Watered:

  • Watering Frequency: Check the water level daily and ensure it always covers the base of the trunk. A typical tree may consume between one quart and one gallon of water per day.
  • Tree Stand Capacity: Use a tree stand that can hold enough water and is suitable for the size of your tree.
  • Avoiding Dryness: A dry tree can catch fire easily, so consistent watering is crucial to maintain its moisture.

3. Safe Placement of Your Tree:

  • Distance from Heat Sources: Place your tree at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, or candles.
  • Stable Positioning: Make sure your tree is mounted in a sturdy stand to prevent it from tipping over.People Considerations: Place the tree in a location where it won’t block exits and is not prone to being bumped into or knocked over.

4. Lighting and Decorating Your Tree Safely:

  • Choosing the Right Lights: Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. LEDs are recommended as they run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.
  • Inspecting Lights: Check all light strings for frayed wires, broken sockets, or loose connections. Replace any damaged light sets.
  • Electrical Load: Avoid overloading electrical outlets and power strips. Connect no more than three standard-size sets of lights into a single extension cord.

5. Disposal of Your Tree Post-Christmas:

  • Timely Disposal: Remove the tree from your home after Christmas or once it becomes dry. Dry trees are a significant fire hazard.
  • Disposal Options: Research local community programs for tree recycling or disposal.
  • Post-Disposal Safety: Do not leave a discarded tree in a garage, against your home, or anywhere on your property where it could pose a fire risk.

A spokesperson from Plumbworld:

“By taking simple yet effective steps, such as regularly watering your Christmas tree and keeping it away from heat sources, you can significantly reduce the risk of festive fires in your home. Our guide is designed to be both easy to follow and impactful in ensuring your holiday celebrations are safe and joyous. Remember, a safe Christmas is a happy Christmas.

“We invite everyone to incorporate these measures into their holiday routine for a season filled with peace, joy, and safety. For more practical tips and comprehensive fire safety advice this holiday season, please explore the wealth of information available on the Fire Service’s website.”

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