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Despite the numerous warnings we hear every year from local fire departments, police, news stations, family, friends, neighbors, and even bloggers, unattended Christmas trees cause hundreds of home fires every single year. Generally, tree fires are the result of a combination of factors, including bad lights, bad wiring, improper placement, and letting the tree dry out. If you are careless with your tree and it catches fire, not only can you potentially ruin your own family's Christmas, you could be legally liable for ruining your neighbors or whole neighborhood's Christmas.
Below, you'll find four important safety tips to prevent a Christmas tree fire.
1. Unplug Trees and Other Decorations Before Bed or Leaving
While this may be common sense, countless fire occur during the night time or when no one is home. Although the leaving the holiday lights and decorations on may make you feel happy, you definitely won't be when that mechanical Santa Claus overheats from being on for 288 hours straight and decides to burn down your house.
2. Don't Use Beat Up Old Lights or Extension Cords
If wires are frayed, unless you really really know what you're doing (i.e. you have worked as an electrician) just toss the old lights or wires and get new ones. Now that LED lights are much easier to come by and more cost effective, retiring old and frayed stings of lights doesn't have to be so sad.
3. Stop Lighting Trees When the Needles Drop
If you prefer a real tree, then you know you have to water the tree to keep it fresh. You should also know that once the needles start really dropping, your tree has dried out beyond saving. Once that happens, it's time to stop lighting up the tree as a dry natural tree is very flammable.
4. Keep All Trees Away From Flames and Heaters
While it may sound like common sense to keep a Christmas tree away from a fireplace, people commonly put their Christmas trees right next to their fireplaces. Even though many fake tree are labeled as fire-proof or fire-resistant, an ember from a fireplace can change everything. Additionally, Christmas trees should not be placed near, or next to, heaters, radiators, or heating vents even. This is because excessive heat can cause the light bulbs or wiring to malfunction.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.