The Bullhead Fire Department urges residents to exercise fire safety through the holiday season. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2013-2017, U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 160 home structure fires caused by Christmas trees. While responding to an estimated average of 780 home structure fires per year that began with decorations between 2013-2017. The NFPA advised that heat sources to close to the tree causes one in every four Christmas tree fires. Following these safety tips, this holiday season will help to prevent a tree-related fire in your home.
Christmas Tree Safety:
- If you have an artificial tree, be sure it’s labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
- If you choose a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched: before placing it in the stand, cut 1-2” from the base of the trunk and immediately put in a stand with fresh water. Be sure to water daily.
- Do not block exits and place the tree at least three feet away from any heat source, such as a fireplace, space heater, or heat vent.
- Decorate your tree using lights that have a label of an independent testing laboratory.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, loose bulbs, or connections.
- Do not link more than three light strands together, unless the directions indicate it is safe.
- Never use candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving your home or going to bed.
- After Christmas, remove the tree from your home. Dried out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside of the home.
Most importantly be sure to have working smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including basements. On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) or near the stairway to the upper level, or in both locations. If you need smoke alarms or assistance, please contact our Community Risk Reduction Division at 928-754-3971.