One of my fondest memories is Christmas at Grandma’s house. She loved to decorate. Holly, Juniper, Balsam Fir, and White Pine boughs would be brought inside to decorate the mantle, the bay window and also to make swags for the doors. The smell of balsam this time of year still brings vivid memories of Grandma to me.
I confess that I only use fake greens for my indoor decorations. However we still get a live tree but only a week before Christmas and the day after it is out back in our burn pile. I can attest to how quickly a dried, sappy fir tree can burn.
Christmas Tree Fires
The statistics collected on home fires that start with a Christmas tree are not good. The National Fire Protection Association reports that “On average, one of every 52 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 135 total reported home fires.” This is directly related to their combustibility.
If you are interested, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a physical sciences laboratory, has created a video to demonstrate the importance of keeping your Christmas tree well watered while you have it inside your home for the holidays. The video is titled: Christmas tree fire: watered tree vs. dry tree
Keeping it Real
Many people decide to go the route of pre-lit artificial trees. However, the National Christmas Tree Association estimated that 32.8 million Christmas trees were purchased in 2018. That is a lot of trees! Here is a fun video put out by the Christmas Tree Promotion Board’s program “It’s Christmas Keep It Real.” They explore how picking out the Christmas tree is one of the top holiday traditions of the season. You can watch it here.
Keeping it Safe
- Make sure you use a tree stand with a large reservoir for water and keep it full, check the water everyday! This is the single most important thing you can do.
- Make a fresh cut, for a tree to absorb water it must have a fresh cut. Remove 2″ from the base of the trunk before you bring your tree inside. Most tree lots will provide this service for you, remember to ask.
- Choose a place inside your home that is not immediately exposed to sources of heat or direct sunlight, which can accelerate the drying process.
- Make sure all your lights are working and replace any with worn or
broken cords or loose bulb connections.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights off before going to bed or leaving the house.
Have a safe and Happy Holiday Season!