The tradition of trimming a tree for the holidays is dearly observed in millions of homes. In the last century, we've come a long way in making the decoration safer: once, hot-burning incandescent light bulbs and even upright candle sticks were treacherous fire hazards. Today, safer tree lights and even fire-retardant artificial trees have infiltrated markets so that holiday celebrations aren't derailed by accidents. However, there are still steps homeowners can take to be sure their holiday trees don't cause the most wonderful time of the year to take an ugly turn:
1. Constant supervision. Homeowners should never leave their tree lights on unattended, no matter how nice it looks through a picture window while you go caroling with neighbors. Similarly, supervising children and animals can prevent more accidents than just house fires.
2. Finding the right lights. Not all decorative lights are approved for indoor use, so read labels carefully. Strands that connect end-to-end will save your surge protector or extension cord from congestion that can lead to electrical fires, so invest in lights that will protect your home.
3. Holiday feng shui. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that holiday trees stand at least three feet from the nearest heat source. This includes fireplaces, kitchen appliances and heating systems.
4. Watering your tree. This no-brainer can be easy to forget. For real trees, the basin of water you fill upon assembly will only last a few days. Check the level daily and keep your Tannenbaum hydrated. Dry branches are highly flammable, so maintain your tree like any other house plant.
By following these tips and exercising common sense, homeowners can prevent accidents that lead to destruction and homeowners' claims. A safe holiday is a happy holiday.