January 8, 2016 2:36 am
Like many homeowners, you’re probably wondering when to take down your Christmas tree. Did you know that the longer the tree remains in the home, the greater the fire risk becomes?
“Christmas trees are very flammable,” says National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy Lorraine Carli. “Trees dry out the longer they remain in the home, and can be consumed by fire in a matter of seconds.”
NFPA statistics show nearly 40 percent of Christmas tree fires occur in January—and though they are not common, they are much more likely to be serious when they do occur.
When removing your Christmas tree, the NFPA recommends the following safety tips:
• Use the gripping area on the plug when unplugging electrical decorations. Never pull the cord to unplug any device from an electrical outlet, as this can harm the wire and insulation of the cord, increasing the risk for shock or electrical fire.
• As you pack up light strings, inspect each line for damage, throwing out any sets that have 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 where they will not be damaged by water or dampness.
• Use your local community recycling program, if available, for tree disposal. Trees should not be put in the garage or left outside.
Published with permission from RISMedia.