Posts belonging to Category Christmas trees



When it Comes to Decorations…Be Fire Conscious

The US Fire Safety Administration shares the following information to keep you safe this holiday season.

Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season. Unfortunately, these same decorations may increase your chances of fire. Based on data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), an estimated 240 home fires involving Christmas trees and another 150 home fires involving holiday lights and other decorative lighting occur each year. Together, these fires result in 21 deaths and $25.2 million in direct property damage.

Following a few simple fire safety tips can keep electric lights, candles, and the ever popular Christmas tree from creating a tragedy.

Learn how to prevent a fire and what to do in case a fire starts in your home. Make sure all exits are accessible and not blocked by decorations or trees.

Christmas Trees

fire safetyWhat’s a traditional Christmas morning scene without a beautifully decorated tree? If your household includes a natural tree in its festivities, take to heart the sales person’s suggestion – “Keep the tree watered.”

Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires annually. Typically, shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. Well-watered trees are not a problem. A dry and neglected tree can be.

Selecting a Tree for the Holidays

Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long and, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.

Caring for Your Tree

Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

Disposing of Your Tree

Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.

Maintain Your Holiday Lights

Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.

Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets

Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch. Do not leave holiday lights on unattended!

Use Only Nonflammable Decorations

All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents. If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.

Don’t Block Exits

Ensure that trees and other holiday decorations do not block an exit way. In the event of a fire, time is of the essence. A blocked entry/exit way puts you and your family at risk.

Never Put Wrapping Paper in the Fireplace

Wrapping paper in the fireplace can result in a very large fire, throwing off dangerous sparks and embers that may result in a chimney fire.

Avoid Using Lit Candles

Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.

If You Do Use Lit Candles

Make sure candles are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn. Never leave a room or go to bed with candles burning.

Never Put Lit Candles on a Tree

Do not go near a Christmas tree with an open flame – candles, lighters or matches.

Have a fire-free holiday season!

 

 

Facts About Christmas Trees

trees

History of Christmas Trees

  • The use of evergreen trees to celebrate the winter season occurred before the birth of Christ.
  • The first decorated Christmas was in Riga, Latvia in 1510.
  • The first printed reference to Christmas trees appeared in Germany in 1531.
  • Nineteenth century Americans cut their trees in nearby forests.
  • Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the United states since about 1850. Until fairly recently, all Christmas trees came from the forest.
  • The first Christmas tree retail lot in the United States was started in 1851 in New York by Mark Carr.
  • In 1900, large stores started to erect big illuminated Christmas trees.

Christmas Trees and the Environment

  • Growing Christmas trees provides a habitat for wildlife.
  • Recycled trees have been used to make sand and soil erosion barriers and been placed in ponds for fish shelter.
  • Christmas trees remove dust and pollen from the air.
  • Artificial trees will last for six years in your home, but for centuries in a landfill.
  • 59 percent of real Christmas trees harvested are recycled in community programs.
  • An acre of Christmas trees provides for the daily oxygen requirements of 18 people.

Artificial / Fake Trees

  • In 2002, 21% of United States households had a real tree, 48% had an artificial tree and 32% had no tree.
  • Most fake (artificial) trees (85%) in the U.S. are imported from China.
  • Real Christmas trees are involved in less than one-tenth of one percent of residential fires and only when ignited by some external ignition sources.

Christmas Tree Numbers

  • Thirty-four to thirty-six million Christmas trees are produced each year and 95 percent are shipped or sold directly from Christmas tree farms.
  • 28 million Christmas trees were sold in 2001.
  • More than one million acres of land have been planted in Christmas trees. The industry employs over 100,000 people. Many Christmas tree growers grow trees on a part-time basis to supplement farm and non-farm income.
  • More than 2,000 trees are usually planted per acre. On an average 1,000-1,500 of these trees will survive. In the North, maybe, 750 trees will remain. Almost all trees require shearing to attain the Christmas tree shape. At six to seven feet, trees are ready for harvest. It fighting heavy rain, wind, hail, pests and drought to get a mature tree.
  • Christmas trees take an average of 7-10 years to mature.
  • 100,000 people are employed in the Christmas tree industry.
  • 98 percent of all Christmas trees are grown on farms.

Source:www.pickyourownchristmastree.org

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