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5 tips for avoiding Christmas tree fires this holiday season

According to a report issued by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Christmas trees account for more than 200 home fires, on average, every year. Even worse, Christmas tree fires are more likely to result in death when compared to other types of homes fires. For instance, the same NFPA report found that one out of every 34 Christmas tree fires resulted in a death - compared to the overall average of one death out of every 142 home fires.

Given the potential consequences of a severe Christmas tree fire - including serious burn injuries and even death - it is a good idea to review the following tips in order to maximize your safety and the safety of your family this holiday season:

  • Check holiday lights: Unfortunately, many Christmas trees are set ablaze by defective and/or hot decorative lights. In fact, the NFPA reports that roughly 18 percent of Christmas tree fires are associated with decorative lights. With that in mind, you should always make sure to inspect your lights every year for frayed wires, broken sockets or any other potential defects/problems.
  • Properly place tree: You should always make sure your tree is at least three feet away from any type of heat/fire source, including portable heaters, fireplaces, heating vents and candles.
  • Keep tree watered: If a real tree is allowed to dry out, it becomes significantly more flammable, which is why you should always make sure it is well watered. Indeed, you should probably add water to the tree stand on a daily basis. In addition, you should also avoid putting any flammable decorations on the tree.
  • Turn lights off: Whether you are leaving the home or going to bed, you should always turn off your Christmas tree lights. This simple act can greatly reduce the likelihood of a Christmas tree fire.
  • Check smoke alarms: If a Christmas tree fire should break out in your home, having properly installed/functioning smoke alarms can give you and your family the time you need to reach a safe location.

Unfortunately, even if you follow every step above, Christmas tree fires are still possible, particularly if your Christmas tree lights are defective. However, if you or a loved one is injured as a result of defective Christmas tree lights, it is important to remember that you may have legal options available. If you would like to learn more, contact an experienced products liability lawyer today.

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