We love natural Christmas trees but everyone should remember that they need care to last as well as remain safe in your home. There is no greater danger than a tree that has dried out. Read this article from the New York Times for more information about caring for your Christmas tree.
Last holiday season there were about 200 Christmas tree fires in American homes, caused primarily by faulty lights and resulting in 10 deaths and more than $10 million in property loss, the commission says. Another 14,000 house fires are started yearly by misplaced or mishandled flame candles, causing 170 deaths and $350 million in property loss. And about 10,000 people are treated at emergency rooms for injuries from falls, cuts or shocks while hanging lights or decorations.
The biggest causes of holiday fires are “candles, candles, candles and live trees,” said Kim Dulic, a commission spokeswoman. The agency recommends battery-operated candles instead of real or electric, she said, along with fire-resistant artificial trees — or fresh well-watered trees.
A cut tree is fresh, she said, if the bottom of its trunk is sticky with resin and its needles are hard to pull and don’t break when bent. It is too dry, she said, if it sheds a shower of needles when bounced on the ground.